After the gym or sport it is always good to take a shower to maximize the benefits. The temperature of the water can vary, and with it the resulting well-being . There are those who prefer to take a cold shower and those who instead enjoy a hot and prolonged shower as soon as they finish playing sports . Whether hot or cold is better, and what the beneficial consequences are for the body, depends on several factors and on the type of goal pursued by the training. What is certain is that the shower facilitates the transition phase between physical activity and rest.
Benefits Of The Post Workout Cold Shower
The cold shower after training in the gym has significant benefits, just think of how much cryotherapy is practiced and now popular . Among the benefits of the cold shower, we mention:
- Faster recovery after prolonged effort: anti-fatigue
- Reduction of inflammation resulting from training
- Promotes the disposal of toxins
- Compacts and tones the skin almost like a lifting effect
- Stimulates circulation: when cold water reaches the body, especially wetting legs and arms, it restricts circulation on the surface of the body.
- Promotes the immune response a
- Closes pores and strengthens scalp and hair .
- It causes the release of endorphins , which generate a feeling of imminent well-being and good mood
- Energizing function : strength and mental lucidity are recovered.
- It reduces the itching sensation caused by perspiration and soothes reddened skin
- Slimming effect because it stimulates the metabolism in burning lipids
Those who don’t have a shower, but a bathtub, can even simulate a cryotherapy chamber effect by adding ice cubes to cold water. Obviously, in this case, the immersion must not last longer than a few minutes.
Does the cold shower make you lose weight?
The cold shower contributes to weight loss . A process explained by science: the body, subjected to the jet of cold water , must seek internally the resources necessary to maintain a balanced temperature and, in order to be able to do this, it will be forced to burn part of the fat reserves . Cold water, in this case, and not just after sports training, helps in weight loss , as some adipose cells , such as brown fat , can generate heat by burning fat.
Benefits of the post workout hot shower
Even the hot shower after training has important benefits . Between these:
- Sanitizing function: better removes dirt and impurities from the skin
- Relax your muscles
- Reduces tension
- Decongestant effect of the nasal and respiratory tracts. Thanks to the Turkish bath effect of the steam that forms in the shower.
- Recovering from the cold of an outdoor workout in winter .
- Promotes sleep and post-workout rest, regulating circadian cycles
- It makes the skin more receptive to absorbing creams or cosmetic products
- It is more suitable in summer thanks to the thermoregulatory function : it quickly lowers the temperature , even if it seems the opposite.
Contraindications . Hot water brings blood closer to the skin, which is why the skin quickly becomes red and itchy. An excessively hot shower can also alter the pH of the skin and create damage to a natural film that acts as a barrier on the epidermis from external attacks.
Another important aspect concerns the duration of the hot shower: it must last no more than 10 or 15 minutes at most and, possibly, the water should be hot tending to lukewarm. The water must never be boiling so as not to risk skin damage.
Hot cold alternation
The solution, as often happens, is the middle way, or rather, the hot-cold alternation. The health benefits of cold water are related to the constriction of blood vessels , while hot water will open blood vessels. This can pump blood all the way through your muscles and organs and is great for helping with regeneration and detoxification. All this is the basis of the ancient Kneipp method , i.e. that of the contrast shower. An ideal shower, in fact, should provide for an alternation of hot and cold water. Water as cold as possible for one minute, and then very hot for another minute, alternating between cold and hot for three to five cycles .