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Originally published May 13 2009

Cold Showers Offer More than You May Think

by Sheryl Walters

(NaturalNews) It has long been thought that the only use for a cold shower was to stave off sexual urge. But for centuries cold baths and showers were a regular part of any health regime and they now look set to make a comeback. While an icy cold early morning shower may not sound very appealing many people swear by it, saying that it gives them a burst of energy that lasts for hours. This has been backed up by sports scientists and you will now find many top sportsmen and women hopping in the ice bath after competing as it helps rejuvenate the body, giving them more energy while also helping prevent injury. But how does this work? When we hop in to the cold water our blood vessels tighten instantly draining them of blood making you feel numb. When you climb out of the water, your blood vessels will open up again, allowing new blood carrying fresh oxygen to your muscles, which will invigorate them leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day.

In Germany many studies have now taken place after hospitals and Doctors realized that people who swam during Berlin's freezing winters were less likely to pick up chest infections. "Swimming in freezing water, cold plunges in ice water following a sauna, and other forms of cold immersion harden the body and benefit health by increasing resistance to chest infections," the German doctors say. With our modern day lives we are so used to air conditioners and heaters going all year around. When even the slightest bacteria invades our body it simply cannot cope with the stress and we become sick. Taking a cold shower or bath is thought to give your body a short sharp shock making it more resistant to disease. "Brief exposure to cold causes a mild oxidative stress which may prepare the body to resist a greater stress," says Dr Werner Siems, a biochemist at Herzog-Julius Hospital.

Dr Peter Clough from the University of Hull has conducted a number of experiments to see if exposing yourself to extreme cold has any positive effects. In one test he took a group of university students up a cold mountain and made them dip their hands in to a bucket of ice cold water while he asked them questions. Dr Clough found that this type of extreme exposure helped increase the student's mental toughness and ability to cope with stressful situations. Dr Clough has turned his findings to help the work related stress epidemic in Britain and feels that a cold shower every morning could be the answer.

So when you get up in the morning just grit your teeth and get in that cold shower. It could give you the energy you need to last out the day.

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.

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