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Hot Vs. Cold Showering: The Benefits of Both Extremes

Written by  Wilfred Weihe
Whenever you take a shower, do you like to crank it up as hot as you can tolerate, or do you want an ice-cold shower? Are you always disappointed when a shower’s water doesn’t get hot enough or doesn’t have enough hot water? Everyone has their preference, including somewhere in the middle. As you think of shower ideas and renovations, you always want to make sure that your shower has plenty of hot water.

With that said, both temperatures can have their own pros and cons to them. Let’s take a look at them.

Cold Showers

Hot Vs Cold ShoweringFor many, a cold shower is the least preferable of the two. It’s often associated with punishment or at least a home with inadequate water heating.

If you have a large household and multiple people are taking showers at the same time, someone usually dreads being the last one due to the hot water being used up. Or, if the person before you doesn’t know how to save water and takes a long shower, you dread taking one after them.

Taking a dip in the cold pool or beach during the summer is one thing, but many people in their home want it hot or at least warm.

However, cold showers do have their own advantages, and for some, it’s an acquired taste. Also, it has health benefits. These include:

Waking You Up

If you’re tired, a cold shower can wake you up much better than a cup of coffee. It improves circulation, keeping you alert and ready to start the day, or at least giving you a little more energy if you have a long night. Of course, always make sure you get some proper sleep every night.

It Can Be Good for Your Workout

Cold Shower Could Help With Sore MusclesIf you work out, a cold shower could help with sore muscles, and it may have weight loss capabilities. It obviously isn’t a magic diet or anything, but it may be beneficial. There’s a reason why some gyms have showers in their locker rooms.

It’s Good for the Skin

A cold shower could help reduce itchiness on your skin and make your skin glow. It’s not going to be your plastic surgeon or anything, but a nice, cold shower can be beneficial for your skin in many ways.

When to Not Try a Cold Shower

Obviously, if you’re cold, a cold shower shouldn’t be recommended. When you get out of the cold weather, you probably want a cold shower. Also, if you have a fever or another illness, a cold shower may not be that good for you. Besides the fact that you may have chills, a cold shower could hurt your immunity.

Hot Showers

Next up is a hot shower. These tend to be the favorite and for many reasons. These include:

Helps You Relax

Hot Shower Part Healthy Sleep RitualA hot shower or bath can be a great way to unwind after a good day. Sometimes, you may want to take one if you have a little bit of insomnia. Many would consider a hot shower a part of a healthy sleep ritual. Besides relaxing your muscles, a hot shower can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This can help you fall asleep faster. Of course, if you still can’t sleep, you may need to seek help. Therapy is just one tool you can use in the battle against insomnia.

Good for a Cold

If you have a fever, cold, or respiratory problems, a hot shower can undoubtedly help. It can open your nasal passages, make phlegm much more comfortable to cough up, and it can relieve the chills that come with the fever.

Great for the Skin

A hot shower can relieve your blemishes and open your pores, cleaning any oil or dirt you have trapped in there.

When Not to Take a Hot Shower

A hot shower, just like a cold one, does have some cons, especially if it’s too hot. For example, it could dry your skin. This is due to water that’s too hot, which may damage your keratin cells. If you have a skin condition, these problems can intensify. For some people, a hot shower is itchy. This is due to mast cells being stimulated and releasing what they have.

A hot shower could increase your blood pressure as well. If you have problems with your blood pressure, taking a hot shower may not be on the table.

If you have any health concerns, talk to your doctor before you step into a hot shower.

How to Get the Advantages of Both

Both hot and cold showers have their pros and cons, and it’s quite entertaining to read about what they can do for your skin. Some people will swear by a hot shower, while others will want cooler ones. If you don’t know which one you should choose, here are a couple of ways to get both:

  • Try a lukewarm shower. It can give you both advantages, especially if you moisturize your skin afterward. Of course, not everyone likes a lukewarm shower. Hot enthusiasts don’t like that it’s too cold, and cold people will not like how the lukewarm shower has no bite to it.
  • You can also try a contrast shower. This is where you spend one-minute showering in the cold water, then one minute showering hot. Repeat until you're satisfied. Putting your body against two extremes sounds a bit worrisome, but it may be able to help pump your blood and give you the advantages of both sides.
  • Or, just alternate between sessions.

Conclusion

Both a hot shower and a cold one have their benefits, and shower lovers everywhere will argue about which one is better. Really, it’s down to your preference. Unless you have a condition that prevents you from doing one, picking a favorite and sticking to it is what we’re all about.

What about you? Which one do you take? Do you have a preference, or do you like both?

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