You may have heard of using contrast showers to help with muscle recovery after a hard workout. Basically, you’re just alternating between warm and cold water. The warm water opens blood vessels which flushes the body with blood. The cold water drives the blood inward to warm and protect the organs from the cold.
The way this helps with muscle recovery is it reduces the amount of inflammation and lactate in the blood. The contraction and dilation caused by contrast showers also seems to help the body flush out toxins.
Benefits of Cold Showers
It is not easy to take a cold shower! See if some of the benefits listed below will convince you to try.
- Improves circulation.
- Great for your skin and hair.
- Increases energy. If you’ve ever tried it you can’t deny that a cold shower really wakes you up!
- Increases well-being. They’ve done studies!
- Increases testosterone in men!
- They build character. It takes a lot of strength to be able to tolerate the discomfort of a cold shower.
- Helps burn fat.
Helps Burn Fat???
Yup! Cold showers help burn fat!! Your body has two types of fat, white fat and brown fat. White fat is the fat you accumulate when you take in more calories than you burn. Brown fat on the other hand is the fat that helps keep you warm. Brown fat will actually use white fat to generate heat in your body! So by taking a cold shower you are actually making your brown fat burn white fat in an attempt to protect you from the cold. SO interesting!!!!!
How To Do A Proper Contrast Shower
It’s recommended that you do 3:1 warm-to-cold. You could start with 90 seconds of heat followed by 30 seconds of cold and repeat 3-5 times. As you start to get used to the cold you can start to increase maybe even working your way up to 3 minutes of heat followed by 1 minute of cold. It might feel like the longest minute of your life, but really all it is is a bit of discomfort which will eventually end. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you want to be more than just average 😉