Saturday, 15 December 2007

Are cold showers good for your health, or bad?

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I love hot showers -- probably a little hotter than is good for me actually. I don't know that I have taken an actual cold shower ever, although often in the summer months I'll take what I'd call "cool" ones. But aside from all the jokes that guys make about 'needing a cold shower,' have you ever thought of taking one for your health? Or how about instead of a cold shower a cold foot soak? This interesting article over at Natural Health suggests that alternating cold and warm foot soaks is like a mini strength-training session for your insides. The cold water (around 70º) constricts and tightens vessels, while the warm water (around 100º) loosens and expands them. Asking them to adjust quickly makes them stronger.

I'm guessing alternating cool and warm showers would do the same thing, but obviously that's not so easy. So are you buying this? The science seems sound enough to me, but then it also strikes me as more than a little unnatural.

1 comment:

Christopher Warden said...

Alternating hot water with cold during a shower is actually a concept discussed in the book, "Making Waves" by Roger Lewin. The premise behind it is that the alternating ebb and flow from hot to cold water can promote health by "synchronizing patterns of communication throughout your body, following the rhythms of nature." Interesting concept.