Showers vs Baths; Hot vs Cold Water

Showers vs Baths; Hot vs Cold

Having a hot shower after some exercise is a wonderful feeling, but what are the healthy alternatives? 

It’s claimed the downside of a shower lies in the notion that falling water ‘breaks up’ a person’s aura.

Similarly, we might argue that the downside of a hot bath lies in the potential absorption of chlorine, fluoride and other toxins present in the water, through the opened pores. 

So let’s explore alternatives…..

Showers

While most people associate cold showers with an icy ordeal, the idea of voluntarily stepping into one rarely crosses our minds unless we’ve worked outdoors breaking a sweat for hours. 

Surprisingly, cold showers offer a variety of benefits, not only to your mindset but also your health. 

Here are several compelling reasons to consider embracing a cold shower …..even if only for 30 seconds.

Boost Your Immunity: Ever wondered why Superman never catches a cold? Researchers found that people embracing the chilly waters have more white blood cells, the immune system’s little warriors. So, if you want to feel invincible, trade that steamy shower for a brisk, icy adventure.

Circulation Jump Start: Move over, hot showers; it’s time for a chilly twist. Cold water jumpstarts your blood circulation, reducing inflammation and (I have to write ‘possibly’) preventing heart issues. It’s like a daily circulatory wake-up call – perfect for starting a brand new day.

Unsung Baby-Maker: Want to add a mini-me to the family album? Men, move in closer! Ditching hot showers can give your sperm count a real boost. Looks like cold showers are the new fertility superhero.

Testosterone on the Rocks: Forget testosterone shots; cold showers do a far better job. Warm/hot showers have even been known to mess with your DNA, causing it to shy away from producing testosterone. So, gentlemen, if you’re looking to flex those muscles and boost confidence, let the cold water play its part.

Melting Pounds Away: Activate your inner ‘brown fat’ with cold showers. This is the fat that when triggered, helps you burn calories. So, if you’re dreaming of shedding some pounds without hitting the gym, cold showers might be your new best friend.

Glowing With Elegance: Tightened blood flow, healthier skin, and shiny hair – all thanks to cold water. It’s like a beauty treatment straight from nature’s refrigerator. You can also say ‘goodbye’ to itchy skin and ‘hello’ to a fresh, natural skin glow.

Eyes Wide Open: Who needs coffee when a cold shower can jolt you awake? The sudden rush of icy water not only speeds up your heart as it floods your brain with oxygen, making you more alert than ever. It’s like a shot of espresso….minus the cup.

Zen Mode: Cold showers are a gateway to relaxation; they boost your Glutathione levels, reduce uric acid, and voila – you’re a calmer, more collected version of yourself. Stress, meet your match!

Ice, Ice Breathe: Take a deep breath – literally. Cold showers force you to inhale deeply, training your lungs for better breathing. It’s like a breath of fresh, icy air for your respiratory system.

Liquid Snooze Button: Turn your cold shower into an evening ritual. It’s not just about waking up; it’s about winding down. The chill stimulates your “blue spot,” producing noradrenaline, the No #1 chemical that combats depression.

Muscle Recovery, Olympian Style: If Olympians and top athletes like Paula Radcliffe and Andy Murray swear by ice baths, there must be something to it. Despite the temperatures, it’s also part of their ‘warm down’. Cold showers speed up muscle recovery, giving you the endurance of a gold medalist. So, after your next intense workout, let the cold water work its magic.

Hot showers are the cozy embrace we all enjoy. They’re the grand opening act, letting everything loosen up and flow, while cold showers are the surprise encore that tightens things right back up. 

It’s the Yin and Yang of the shower world, and trust me; your body l-o-v-e-s the drama.

Hot showers open up your pores and let toxins escape from your body. They’re the champions of respiratory relief, clearing congestion and soothing cold or flu-like symptoms. It’s goodbye to stuffy noses and coughs, at least for a while. For these reasons hot showers are truly awesome!

Baths

Not only are hot baths a perfect way to relax with a glass of wine, a few candles and some soothing music at the end of a long day while you lose your rubber duck in the bubbles, they carry many health benefits as well.

Unleash the Fountain of Youth

Baths are a great approach to remedy any rebellions of your skin. But we’ve got to mention cortisol, the drama queen of stress hormones. It’s the troublemaker who invites acne and wrinkles to the party.  The prescription? Soak yourself silly in the tub, but remember, post-soak hydration is key. Think of it as giving your skin a drink after a wild night out—moisturise, people!

Say Bye-Bye to Muscle Drama

Now, if you’ve ever felt like your muscles were staging an uprising after a workout, we’ve got the ultimate solution: who doesn’t love a spa day? Throw in some Epsom salts and it’s the remedial treatment your muscles deserve.

Sweet Victory over Blood Sugar Battles

Got a sweet tooth but also a wary eye on your blood sugar levels? Well, hot baths are your sugar watchdogs. Scientists in the UK spilled the hot water on this one. Soaking in a warm bath can help lower your blood sugar levels. It’s your sugary treat without the guilt. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can skip the broccoli afterwards.

Skin Saviour or Shower Sham?

Hot water is the arch-nemesis of supple skin. But here’s the twist: both showers and baths can and do strip your body of its precious natural oils.  But with baths, you can add essential oils, mineral salts and more, turning your bath into a skin-replenishing potion. Just don’t forget the post-bath lotion ritual, or you might end up resembling a withered human prune.

Heart-Healthy Soaks

A warm/hot bath might just be what your heart needs through lower blood pressure. Keep it mild as too much hot water can turn your calming soak into a cardio workout. Nobody wants to leave the tub feeling like they ran a marathon.

I haven’t mentioned cold baths yet.

In his book :” The Heart of Listening” craniosacral therapist Hugh Milne recommends sitting for a few minutes only in six inches of cold water if you are experiencing any prostate issues.  Makes sense.

• Combining The Two

While hot showers are all about expansion, cold showers bring it back home with a satisfying contraction. If expansion steals the spotlight, cold showers step in as the ultimate understudy, offering relief and putting unwanted inflammation in its place.

Why settle for a one-act show when you can have the best of both worlds?

Hot and cold showers are the perfect tag team – hot gets the party started, and cold brings it to a refreshing close. Your body gets the best of both worlds.

So, the next time you’re debating between the warmth of a cozy shower and the invigorating chill of a cold one, remember: it’s not a battle; it’s a collaboration that leaves you feeling both relaxed and revitalised and it gets you a round of applause from your grateful pores.

I, for one, love my morning ritual with hot and cold showers.

Dr Elmar Jung

Dr. Elmar Jung
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