The Kat Life

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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Cold Showers Vs. Hot Showers

Photo courtesy of Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

Who doesn't love taking a nice hot shower? I know that I certainly love taking a nice hot shower before bed at night; especially after a really hard workout earlier that day. Occasionally though, I actually kind of like to take a cold shower. Well, I like the benefits that can come along with taking a cold shower anyway; I rarely enjoy the process of taking a cold shower. Like seriously, who would? I don't like being cold, so I don't particularly enjoy getting hit with cold water; even if it's my own choice. 

So why do I choose to put myself through such torture, you may ask? I mean no one is forcing me to take a cold shower, aside from myself. So why do it? Well, you'll have to read on to find out...

A little disclaimer here? I don't actually take full on COLD showers, but COOL showers using the coldest water I can stand to be in as I go about my shower routine. I could never use the coldest water possible, LMAO; especially not in the Winter when you don't even need to put ice in your drinking water. Trying to shower in that would be a bit too crazy, even for me. Anyway... let's get on with it.

The benefits of cold -- or cool -- showers

Cold Showers

They can either be super energizing or help you sleep - I know, that sounds like it makes no sense, but taking a cold shower really can either help energize me and boost my focus, or it can help me fall asleep; depending on what my goal is. Cold (or cool) showers are a bit of a shock to the system, and can definitely wake me up in the morning, or when I'm feeling a little sleepy in the middle of the day and I want to improve my focus. On the flip side though, if I take one late at night, I'll feel very cozy when I dive under my many blankets.

They're a natural remedy to manage stress, anxiety, and depression (a natural mood booster) - It may sound strange, as the cold water is rather uncomfortable and you'd think that would stress you out more; but I have personally found that taking cold showers actually does help relieve stress, anxiety, and even depression. As a matter of fact, I actually tried taking cold showers every day for a month after something happened in my life that caused me significant distress and anxiety (that would normally linger,  in some way, for weeks or even over a month), and I actually felt better within about a week! I can't say that this will work the same way for everyone, but it's worth a try. You may also need to give it a few days of cool showers before you start to feel any significant changes, depending on how you're feeling. 

Regular cold/cool showers are great for your skin and hair - When I was taking cold showers regularly, I actually did start to notice that my skin and hair felt quite a bit healthier. This could be because hot water can strip the hair and skin of its natural oils and nutrients, and dry it out. I'm also guilty of taking showers that are so hot that I come out a little red; although the redness is very temporary. You likely won't see improvements in your skin and hair instantly, so if this is your goal when it comes to taking cold showers, you'll have to take cold showers regularly, not just once in a while; but cooling down your showers can help improve your skin and hair.

Photo courtesy of Jay Cee on Unsplash

They help with those Summer sunburns - As good as hot showers feel, they don't feel good on sunburns; nor are they good for them, as they can aggravate the burn and dry out the skin even more. So at a bare minimum, it's not a bad idea to take a warm shower over a hot shower if you have a sunburn; but taking a cool shower is even better. Last year, when I got a pretty bad sunburn while out on a walk, (yeah, I know, I should have worn sunscreen), I opted to take cool showers instead of my regular hot showers. Those cool showers, alongside applying moisturizer to the sunburn as best as I could (it's a bit hard to put lotion on your upper back, just saying), and occasionally spraying the area with cold water throughout the day, seemed to speed up the healing process; and provided a lot of relief from the general discomfort that comes with a sunburn. 

They can help relieve sore muscles - Remember when you were a kid, and every time you had an "ouchie" of any kind, your parents, grandparents, babysitter, school nurse, or whoever would give you some kind of an ice pack? You've probably also seen athletes take ice baths, or maybe you've taken an ice bath before. Cold showers can have a similar effect in reducing inflammation and muscle soreness when they are taken after an intense workout.

They can be great if you're in a hurry - This is very minor, and may not count as a true "benefit", but if you shower in the morning, or you just want to save a bit of time or maybe even just save water, there's a good chance you'll shower quicker if you're taking a cold shower. Although this depends on you and your habits. Personally, when I take my hot showers, I spend a lot of time in there; and the majority of that time is spent daydreaming, or just enjoying the warmth. There's obviously nothing wrong with that, but if you're in a rush, or want to have a few extra minutes to maybe work on your makeup instead, or whatever else you have (or want) to do, a cold shower can speed things up a bit. I mean, odds are, you're not going to want to stay in there long. That depends on you though.

The benefits of hot showers

You didn't think I'd leave this out, did you?!

Hot Showers

They're super relaxing, especially right before bed - I don't think I need to explain how relaxing a nice steaming hot shower or bath can be; which is why I love taking them right before bed! The warm water itself is super soothing, and although I don't look forward to the cooler air hitting me when I get out (not in the Winter anyway), it's all the more reason to dive under the covers as soon as possible. 

They help relax sore muscles (and cramps) - Although cold showers are great for relieving sore muscles, you can't deny how relaxing hot water is for the muscles! I actually like to target my sore muscles a bit with the hot water when I'm taking my bedtime shower to help loosen and ease them up a bit when they're feeling tense, and I especially like to do this when it's "that time of the month" to help ease cramps.

The steam is great when you have a cold or allergies - When I'm feeling a bit on the sniffly or congested side, the steam from a nice hot shower can help clear things up and make it a little easier to breathe, at least by a little bit. The steam helps to moisturize the nasal passage and clear things out a little. 

The hot water and steam are also good for the skin - I always feel like my skin gets cleaner when I take a hot shower than it does when I take a cold shower. Hot water helps to open up the pores in your skin so you can really cleanse the skin and unclog your pores. I actually like to take advantage of the heat and steam still in the bathroom after I take my shower when I go to wash my face so I can get a better deep clean of my skin, as well as clear out any clogged pores I may have while my pores are already nice and open.

Photo courtesy of Icons8 Team on Unsplash

They make for a great place to clear your head - If you're not in a rush, taking an extra long and relaxing hot shower is always a nice little treat. I actually like to meditate a little bit in the shower, as it's my alone time away from everything else; be it projects I'm working on, daily tasks, social media, or people in general. I like to just allow my thoughts to run freely while I'm in the shower, and I can even come up with some great ideas while I'm in there. 

Would you ever consider taking a cold or cool shower; or maybe even just ending your shower with a minute or two of cool water? Or do you already take regular cold showers as it is? I personally still prefer to take hot showers because they're a lot more pleasant, but I still like cooling my showers down every now and then. Especially in the Summer when taking a very hot shower may make me sweat soon after my shower; which kinda defeats the purpose. Cold showers definitely aren't the most fun or relaxing, but they do have benefits, especially if you take them regularly; or even if you just need a quick energy booster. 

Just remember that if you do decide to try cold showers, that it doesn't have to be the coldest water possible (unless you want it to be), and you should know your body and what it can handle; as you don't want to shock your body to the point of hypothermia. Be safe and smart about it okay?
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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