I’m sure many of you might know of how athletes take cold ice baths after some intense exercise, for various health related benefits. But do cold showers also have the same benefits? Well according to some studies a cold shower actually has the same benefits as the ice bath especially for some of us that aren’t quite top athletes just yet.
So I decided to do what any good blogger would do and face up to the challenge! By me doing this I hoped to really see what (if any) benefits could come from this. And of course see if it is worth while for you guys to participate at home.
So what are the benefits of a cold shower?
A cold shower has a surprising amount of benefits, so let’s give you a quick overview of them all.
- Refines hair and skin– With hot water drying out your skin, it would only make sense to switch to cold water to tighten your cuticles and pores, which should in theory prevent them from getting clogged and seal them to stop any dirt getting in.
- Makes you more alert– I feel like this one is probably the most obvious one of the bunch, alertness! When you get into a cold shower the shock of the cold will cause for an increase in breath, thus more oxygen will be inhaled. This process will get more blood circulating through your body causing you to be more awake and energetic then ever.
- Improvement of the immune system and organs– Following on from the above point, the increase in blood circulation will cause your organs to pump more efficiently (especially the heart). This may even unblock any clogged arteries too! With everything working at a much better rate, you have a higher chance of fighting off any viruses with an improved immune system
- Increased muscle recovery– With an increased blood circulation and the cold temperatures cooling your muscles. Your muscle recovery time will improve meaning you will have less chance of doms (delayed onset muscle soreness) and a much higher chance of getting back to the gym sooner!
- Stimulates weight loss– I’m pretty sure everybody enjoyed seeing this one on the list, stimulates weight loss! Your brown fats (good fats) react to the cold by heating up, this will help aid you in weight loss!
- Stress release– Because I don’t think you’re going to be able to think about anything else whilst standing in a freezing shower.
So now you’ve had an overview of some of the benefits, let’s see which benefits really did work and which ones were a freezing flop!
The first week was COLD! It was an absolute nightmare of a week where I dreaded getting into every single shower! And as the week went on there was no improvement.
The first step in was awful, sending shivers down my spine and sending my breathing into immediate shock. My heavy breathing didn’t tend to get under control for what felt like minutes, but we’re probably talking about 30 seconds.
My experience of the cold showers in the first week wasn’t a nice one and I didn’t feel any amazing benefits flood into my life just yet, but I knew that would take a little time.
However I did feel a slight improvement in my muscle recovery getting into the second half of the week. The improvement wasn’t huge but none the less I did notice one!
The second week pretty much followed the first, with it still being a painfully cold experience! Although as the showers continued I did manage to get my breathing under control sooner and noticed I adjusted to the cold much quicker aswell.
Something I also noticed was the pure adrenaline and rush of warmth you get once you get out the shower. It feels like I could jump straight onto a treadmill and run for miles, even though I just came back from my crossfit gym (box)!
Alertness was definalty high and muscle recovery was maintaing a steady improvement too. However getting myself to get in the cold shower still wasn’t getting much easier!
I could tell that I had adjusted to the ways of the cold with hot showers now becoming a distant memory. My muscle recovery had significantly increased but alertness stayed pretty much the same throughout the challenge so far.
But for all the other benefits, I couldn’t really see any improvements yet. I thought that my skin and hair might be looking a little better but wasn’t sure if I was looking a little too closely and it was just exactly the same. But either way the improvements were very slight if there were any.
The final week of the challenge. I was relieved that the challenge was coming to an end but I did have thoughts about continuing the process.
I knew that although the showering was still not an easy task, it was much easier then it was at the beggining! And that was what was making me contimplate to continue way after this challenge had finished.
This week I found to be just as tough as the third week, which was a little disheartening as I hoped it got a little easier every week. But that would have been too easy wouldn’t it?
So what was the overall outcome of the cold shower?
How many benefits did I notice?
Would I recommend you to try it?
This challenge was hard. Everything about it was hard. From the disappointing look on your girlfriends face when she sees that your mate downstairs has halved in size, yet again, due to the cold conditions. To the times you’re standing just outside the waters spray at the end of the shower tray, feeling like you’re taking a leap to your death, not just a leap into a cold shower.
But none the less I’d say that the overall outcome was a positive one and the benefits of the muscle recovery and alertness made it all a real success and worth it in the end!
I’m not too sure about the other positive benefits I first mentioned though, it’s a tricky one. I felt like my hair and skin had got better. But was that because I was just conciously looking out for it all the time?
My weight loss was very hard to track due to me dieting and exercising pretty much daily anyway so to know if the cold showering had any additional affects to losing Weight we shall never really know.
For the record I didn’t catch any colds or fall ill either during this challenge, but was that just a coincidence? Probably because I don’t normally fall ill too often so that too was a hard one to track.
Did I feel a release of stress? Well with this one I felt that I kind of did. With the adrenaline and alertness I felt when I got out of the showers, I felt ready to challenge anything and certainly didn’t feel the need to stress.
Maybe we’d know for sure if all of the orignal stated benefits worked over a longer period of time, and If I do decide to continue this then I’ll be sure to let you know!
But I would highly recommend you giving it ago and seeing which benefits work well for you!
I hope you enjoyed this special blogfit challenge post, and hope you got more fun out of reading it then I did trying it! If you could like, comment or share this post it would be greatly appreciated.
If you tried this challenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the whole process. And if you have any ideas for future Blogfit content please comment or get in touch at Cre8tiveClass@hotmail.com