Taking a cold shower every day even in the winter time has many health benefits, also fitness benefits for runners. I started taking a cold shower every day for the past year, and I can see how it really activates our system, especially as we get older it helps boost our immune system. It can help improve our mood, boost our blood circulation, and activate our body and mind.
According to science, to take a cold shower every day can really help boost our metabolism and is worth the effort, especially for runners. Most runners are very good at tolerating cold showers, we have higher pain tolerance, we can also tolerate more intense weather either very cold and windy, rain, high humidity, or super-hot weather. As runners we tend to sweat during our runs, so to take a cold shower, once we get used to it, our body will be very happy. To take a regular cold shower it will help release our discomfort and pain threshold, which will help with more long-distance running.
Cold Shower Temperature: A cold shower doesn’t need to be sub-zero temperature. The goal is to start with a regular hot shower and towards the end of the shower, we just need to turn the shower temperature to the minimum cold for 1-2 minutes, or more if our body feels better and happier.
BENEFITS OF TAKING A DAILY COLD SHOWER
1. Cold Showers Wake Your Body Up
Waking up early can sometimes be difficult. If our body is not woken up and activated, it can be hard to get going. Getting up, and getting ourself into a cold shower can get our mind ready for a training session or work, no matter how intense.
Increases blood flow
Increases oxygen intake
Increases your heart rate
Increases your endorphins
The shock of the cold water wakes our body up and gets us out of the foggy feeling we can experience in the morning. This increase in our heart rate, blood flow and endorphins take our body out of that tired state and gets us ready to start our day. Doing this before a tough workout can help us start off strong and finish strong.
Taking a cold shower in the morning can put us in a headspace to perform to the best of our ability.
2. Cold Showers Help Reduce Muscle Soreness
A cold shower, especially post-exercise, can help with our recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
The cold temperature causes the veins in our muscles to contract, helping flush out lactic acid that has built up during exercise and can cause soreness and stiffness.
3. Cold Showers Can Boost a Bit of Weight Loss
Cold showers can boost a bit of weight loss by burning fat.
When some cells are exposed to cold temperatures, they begin to burn fat by generating heat. These cells are mostly found in the upper body area, where the water hits us a majority of the time. However, the amount of fat we’re actually going to burn in this process will be minimal compared with the fat we would burn during a run.
For that reason, you’re more likely to lose weight as part of a healthier lifestyle, which cold showers can be a part of.
4. Cold Showers Can Increase Blood Circulation
Taking a cold shower can increase our circulation. After a long workout, especially on a hot day, our body temperature can reach higher than normal ranges, which makes it work harder.
When that ice cold water starts to hit our skin, it makes the blood circulate faster, allowing us to get back to a normal internal temperature. This extra blood flow to certain areas of our body also decreases our recovery time. Taking a cold shower before our run can lower our body temperature and help keep our temperature down during our run.
Even if we haven’t worked out, increasing our circulation is good to avoid hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
5. Cold Showers Can Boost Our Immune System
Cold showers trigger the body’s white blood cells, prompting them into action to attack any unwanted substance floating around.
A study shows that people that started a daily cold shower routine, had 29% less sick days.
A cold shower prompts our body into fight-or-flight mode, braced and ready to take on infections and fight diseases.
6. Cold Showers Can Help Keep Our Skin Healthy
All Runners know that after a long workout, our skin may be dry or itchy from sweating. Taking a cold shower can do wonders for our skin and hair. One key benefit is the cold water can soothe itchy skin, plus taking a hot shower every day can dry out parts of our skin.
The cold water can be soothing to our skin.
7. Cold Showers Help Increase Mindfulness and Reduce Stress
A brisk cold shower is the perfect antidote to a sluggish mind.
We all know what it’s like to have long days at work, ongoing stress, and begin to feel unmotivated. Cold showers can cure all this. Often by the end of a work day, if we feel restless, tired, and unsatisfied by any tasks, on those days, to use a cold shower provides an instant change in our state, which helps reset our mindset and get into a more relaxed state.
COLD SHOWER HABITS GUIDE
Get in the shower, set it to a hot, soothing temperature with high-flow rate.
Stick with the hot water until you’re completely heated up, the shower is full of steam, and you feel that warm shower glow. Take as long as you want with this step, it’s part of getting into the cold shower mode.
Once you’re done or getting tired of the hot shower, turn the temperature dial all the way to the coldest setting. Do not adjust the flow rate, keep it at maximum.
Stand facing the showerhead, so it strikes your crown, forehead, face, and chest (don’t stand with it at your back).
As the water begins to turn cold, don’t move away from it. Think to yourself how you’re embracing the power of the cold water, and how your body is loving the cold water. You should immediately notice a state change, your breathing will deepen, you’ll feel blood flow and a surge of adrenaline.
Embrace the cold for as long as you comfortably can. Begin to move around to expose different parts of your body to the cold, focussing on the core. Raise your arms to get cold water under your armpits, that’s an area that often retains heat.
Try to stay in the cold water until you’ve released all the steamy, warm sensation caused by the hot water, as long as you comfortably can.
Don’t over-do it on your first days. You’ll naturally build up more tolerance to the cold water, and be able to extend the interval as you go.
The best way to develop a cold shower routine is to do it every day.
Cold showers should be a part of our routine. These benefits of waking our body up quicker, reducing muscle soreness, increasing our circulation and helping our skin are things that all runners and athletes can benefit from.
Add a Daily Cold Shower, Elevate Your Fitness Level and Health, Enjoy Stronger Runs and Recovery!