A steaming hot shower in the morning feels great, on par with a hot cup of coffee, especially when it’s still cold outside. But is it the best, the healthiest way to kickstart your day? Try a contrast shower. Not only contrast showers are refreshing and invigorating; they are known to have a lasting immunity-boosting and anti-aging effect through stimulating our circulatory system. In fact, it’s one of the top “biohacks” that work exceptionally well for maximum benefit that you can do very easily at no cost.
Our blood circulation slows down as we age, along with our metabolism. That’s why older people often have cold and dry hands and feet. Poor circulation is also a cause of varicose veins. Exercise, massage, dry brushing are some of the ways to improve blood circulation. Contrast showers, or hydrotherapy, is one of the simplest and the most effective methods to boost our blood flow. The hot water causes an opening of the blood vessels, and cold water makes them constrict. Alternating the hot and cold water causes the circulation to move rhythmically, stimulating the circulatory system.Since good blood circulation is vital for cardiovascular health, contrast showers are good for our heart.
The benefits don’t end here. Exposure to cold also stimulates metabolism and therefore it helps with weight loss. Researchers believe that cold water immersion and cold showers activate boost the immune system and increase white blood cells count. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that people who take regular cold showers are less likely to develop colds, flu’s, and other diseases. Cold also reduces inflammation – that’s why we use cold packs on a busted knee or an injury site.
Getting Started with Cold Showers
Working up a tolerance to hot and cold water takes time. Take your time and listen to your body, gradually adjusting temperature every day. You may want to start finishing off with cold water at the end of the shower. Then try 20-30 seconds of cold water a few times during the shower, eventually increasing the cold intervals to a minute. Here is the contrast shower protocol:o Warm/hot water for 3-5 minutes.o Cool/cold water for 1 minute (you can work up to it from 20 seconds at a time). Let the cold water hit your forehead and chest – you have the most number of cold receptors there.o Repeat the cycle 3-5 times.o Always finish with cold water! Enjoy feeling refreshed and invigorated, while also improving your appearance, wellbeing, and health!