THE PERFECT POWER SHOWER

By Alan Knight

Courtesy of flickr.com
Imagine you wake up one chilly March morning and you smell the coffee that started brewing at 6:00 AM. You’re wrapped in your silky, feathery comforter and wish someone would bring the coffee to you. The only thing keeping you going is knowing you can jump into your steamy shower with the warm tendrils of water surrounding your sleepy body. You reluctantly shed the comforter and stroll towards the shower. As you turn on the HOT faucet, you begin to realize that something is amiss. Please say it isn’t so. Instead of that steam you long for emanating from the shower, there is only cold, piercing water gushing from the showerhead. What do you do? 

With all the gusto you can muster, you flick your fingertips into the chilly water and your heart sinks. It’s just too cold, but you know what you have to do. You remember that you’ve done this before during your first swim of the summer. You can do it. You jump right in, do a little dance to warm up, and after the first few shocking moments, your body seems to acclimate. You hurriedly lather up, rinse off and jump out. Thank goodness that’s over.
Much to your surprise, you heart is pumping like the time your neighbor’s dog got loose. You definitely feel invigorated. There is a reason for that feeling and despite the initial discomfort, there are many healthful benefits to taking cold showers.

COLD SHOWERS BURN FAT 

Courtesy of flickr.com
Believe it or not, it’s true. There are two kinds of fat in your body; brown fat (good- think shoulders) and white fat (bad-think belly). Brown fat helps to burn calories and push out the white fat. Its function is to generate heat to keep you warm. Taking a cold shower activates the brown fat resulting in calorie burn to warm the body.
“The Scandinavian researchers found that exposure to chilly temperatures caused a 15-fold increase in the metabolic rate of brown fat in their healthy adult volunteers. They figure that if a way could be found to activate the typical person's stores of brown fat, it would burn off at least 9 pounds of regular (white) fat a year.” (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102964807)

COLD SHOWERS INCREASE ALERTNESS

Who doesn’t feel a little groggy first thing in the morning? Adding a cold shower to your morning routine will put a little pep in your step. Your body’s response to the shock of the cold water is to breathe deeply to keep you warm. This increases the overall oxygen intake which is healthy in itself. The heart rate increases and a rush of blood flows through your veins, giving you a major energy boost.

COLD SHOWERS KEEP YOUR HAIR AND SKIN RADIANT

Hot water strips your hair and skin of the natural oils. Cold water tightens your cuticles and pores, thereby preventing them from becoming clogged by allowing dirt to penetrate. You’ll have shinier hair and more radiant skin in no time.

COLD SHOWERS HELP BOOST IMMUNITY AND CIRCULATION 
Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Cold showers increase your metabolic rate, which in turn, activates your immune system. During this process, virus-fighting white blood cells are released that help to prevent and fight illness. It’s like natural medicine without the harmful effects of prescription drugs.

COLD SHOWERS CAN FIGHT DEPRESSION
Cold showers can relieve symptoms of depression. “Due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower can be expected to send a burst of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17993252) After exposure to cold water, there is also an increase in glutathione, which is an antioxidant that keeps all the other antioxidants working in top form. This 2008 study claims that cold water therapy produces an analgesic effect which can boost your mood and lessen your stress levels, empowering you to handle anything that comes your way.
COLD SHOWERS DRAIN YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
Actually, this works best with hot and cold water showers. The lymphatic system helps to carry waste from your cells, helping to defend your body from infection. Cold water aids in contracting the lymph vessels, while hot water relaxes the vessels. As the lymph vessels contract and dilate they create a pumping motion and push fluid through that may have stagnated in the system resulting in a healthier and stronger you.
COLD SHOWERS HELP FATIGUED MUSCLES AFTER RIGOROUS EXERCISE
Athletes take ice baths after intense training. Ice baths reduce muscle pain and prevent muscles from the soreness that results days after training. Cold water showers don’t have the exact same effect as ice baths, but they do help in relieving muscle pain.
Cold water constricts blood vessels, aids in flushing waste products and reduces swelling resulting in a speedy recovery from an intense workout.
Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
DON’T JUMP IN ALL AT ONCE 
If you are a cold shower virgin, there’s no need to jump in all at once. Just the thought of it will make you shiver. Try this experiment over a 30-day period and alternate the amount of time you run the cold water.
Start with your normal hot shower and end it with a few minutes under cool water. Once you feel comfortable with that and are feeling the effects that the cooler water provides, try finishing your shower with a few minutes under the coldest water you can stand. You will notice how much better you feel immediately. Do this for one week.
Now that you’re comfortable with finishing your shower with cold water, you’ll probably have a little more courage to alternate between hot and cold water. Try doing 1-2 minutes with hot water and 30-60 seconds with cold. This is really going to get your blood flowing. As you practice, try to increase the amount of time you spend with the cold water. You will slowly work yourself up to more cold time and less hot time. Try this for a good two to two and a half weeks before you take the big plunge.
You have started to feel the benefits the invigorating cold water has on your health and there is no reason to stop now. Who knows, it may even become an addiction. Week four is going to be your best week. You psych yourself up and turn on the cold water knowing how great you’ll feel afterwards. Voila, you did it and you announce to the world about the health benefits of taking cold showers. Toot your horn on Twitter and Instagram to gain more of a following, because you are invincible.
With all your new found energy and vitality, you’ll wonder if this experience can get any better. Your bathroom has become your place of empowerment and you want a better shower. Maybe a built-in shower is a possibility? How about a shower you can walk right into, with a built in chair and a removable shower head where you can direct the water where you want? The possibilities are endless. What a great, life-changing decision you have made. 
This article extols the many health benefits of taking cold showers. I’ve only named a few. Adding to that, the upgrade to a modern shower like the new safety suite shower, with all the amenities and you have the perfect power shower.

Until the next time…
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Alan Knight is  the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville,  Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, the company is also multiple time award winner, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you would like to contact him, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com.