Most people take a shower after exercising to wash and freshen up, however there are a multitude of benefits associated with the post workout shower, in particular having a cold shower could be more beneficial than a warm one. This technique is known as cryotherapy where cold water is used to treat muscular aches and pains, although there is naturally some debate over whether this is an effective method of recovery.
Hygiene and cleanliness
From a personal hygiene perspective it is essential to have a shower after exercising to wash your own and others’ sweat off your body. You may not think you smell immediately, but as time goes by the smell of old sweat only gets worse which is not pleasant for anyone! Not only that but sweat can get into wounds and cause infection if it is not washed off.
Health and happiness
Cold showers help create healthy bodies by boosting the immune system as the cold water increases the body’s supply of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, which in turn promotes healthy minds. Cold water also has the added benefits of helping with weight loss, whether you are having a cold shower, an ice bath or simply drinking a glass of chilled water.
Recovery and advancement
Recovery after a vigorous session can also be aided by having a cold post workout shower. We have all experienced tired, aching muscles the day after a big workout, this is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). This muscular discomfort can be reduced and possibly even prevented by having a cold shower after exercising where the showerhead is being aimed directly over the aching muscles. For those of you exercising daily, a cold shower is very important to allow you to start your next exercise with the same high stamina. As far as cold showers and baths go they are far more effective than rest when it comes to recovering from vigorous exercise.
Next time you have an intense workout at the gym don’t forget to take your towel and jump straight into a cold shower immediately afterwards, you will feel much better for it and smell a lot fresher!