Hot or Cold Shower: Which One Is Better
Is a steaming hot shower your idea of a perfect start to the day? Or do you prefer a cold one to lose the remnants of sleep? Irrespective of what you like, it might be helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Cold showers are recommended soon after you wake up, after an intense workout, and after you return from work to get the dirt off and feel clean. In summers, it can help you feel less sticky and sweaty in humid weather.
Check out some of the benefits of a cold shower.
1. Relaxes muscles
After you’ve had an intense workout, a cold shower will help your muscles relax. This will prevent soreness and will also improve the supply of blood to the worked muscles. It is also known to decrease inflammation and pain.
2. Protects skin and hair
Unlike extremely hot showers, cold water showers do not deprive your hair and skin of their natural oils. In fact, cold water tightens the skin by closing pores, and is gentler on your hair and prevents hair fall.
3. Makes you more energetic and alert
The cold stream of water hitting your body in the morning can really help you wake up. It comes as a shock to your body after a good night’s sleep and increases your heart rate and oxygen intake to make you alert and energetic.
4. Aids weight loss
Your body consists of some fat cells, especially around the neck and shoulder area, which produce heat by burning fat. When exposed to cold stimuli, like cold water, your cells burn more fat and can thus help with weight loss.
5. Increases blood circulation
Cold showers improve blood circulation and help maintain the ideal body temperature. They are thus beneficial in reducing inflammation and can potentially decrease the chances of cardiovascular disease.
6. Relieves itchy skin
If you have skin conditions like itching, rashes, or eczema, a cold shower can help lessen the itchy sensation.
If you take a cold shower when you are unwell, you may end up feeling even worse as it has an adverse effect on your immune system. If you have a cold, cough or fever, you will feel colder and your body will take longer to warm up.
Also read: Showering Everyday: Are You Doing It Right?
Hot showers help a lot if you take them an hour or two before you sleep and when you are not well. You can also get one after a massage, so the oils get absorbed into the skin.
Check out some of the benefits of a hot shower.
1. Improved muscle and joint health
A hot shower relaxes the nerves and muscles of your body, which in turn makes you feel relaxed. It can also improve blood circulation that can reduce stiffness in the joints like the ankles, knees, and shoulders.
2. Relief from respiratory symptoms
Inhaling steam is a common home remedy for cold and cough. When you take a hot shower, the heat and steam from the water loosens the phlegm, opens your airways, and clears your nasal passage.
3. Reduces blemishes
Heat and steam from a hot shower open up clogged pores. After the shower, you can scrub the oil and dirt out of the skin, which reduces blemishes and blackheads.
4. Improves sleep
Hot showers release tension in the body by increasing blood flow in the muscles and relaxing them. This helps you sleep better. Just ensure that the water is not too hot.
Hot showers can make your skin dry. The top layer of your skin cells gets damaged when it comes in contact with extremely hot water. It can’t then retain moisture, which causes dryness. Also, if you have cardiovascular diseases or high blood pressure and the water is too hot, these conditions can worsen. If you pour scalding water on your head, it may deprive your scalp of its natural oils and leave your hair dry and frizzy. The same applies to your skin, where very hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils making it dry and itchy.
So which is better — hot or cold shower?
Both cold and hot showers have their own pros and cons. You can opt for either, depending on your current health status. You may avoid a cold shower in the winter and if you have a fever or cold.
Ideally, it is recommended to shower with lukewarm water. Follow it up by applying moisturizer on your body while it is still damp.
The kind of shower you zero in on of course depends on your personal preference. Be mindful about the pros and cons of each however, along with factors such as your health, the time of day, and the climate. Ultimately, it’s all about being hygienic and feeling clean.