Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2014 Contents 10|
| FITNESS |
By Orlando Griffith
GROWING UP IN MARACAS VALLEY, St. Joseph,
you couldn't get me under any circumstance to
take a bath in cold water in the morning. I'm sure,
like most people who grew up in valleys and had to
leave the house early, utilizing the kettle or a pot to
boil water was the only method to raise the tem-
perature of your water to start the day right. I could
remember waking up late for school and not being
able to boil water because the ten minutes that the
water took to boil only made me much later, so I
had no choice to do the "cold water dance." For
those who had water heaters, you wouldn't know
and understand my trepidation.
You start off wetting your hands and then maybe
your feet, you work your way up your shins and
then maybe your knees. This is all done slowly as
to acclimatize oneself to the temperature. You wet
your face, then maybe your head as you hold the
container overhead and then run into the cold
water, jumping up and down in the bathroom, and
with a rush and flurry of continuous douses of cold
water over your body you try to wet your entire
body to be able to accommodate soaping. Another
flurry of liquid hell, and then it's over, and you hope
that you're clean enough to get through the day.
Now for many, many years, the much older folks
knew the benefits of bathing in cold water, and I'm
sure they're still doing it, but not knowing the ben-
efits. All over the world you have different cultures
using cold water baths as therapy or spiritual heal-
ing. Scientists have been investigating the benefits
cold baths have on the body, and I've decided to
share a few as it relates to your wellness.
First, as it relates to exercise, taking a cold shower
aids in speeding up recovery time after a workout.
Your circulation is improved and you feel renewed.
Cold showers also decrease inflammation. We all
know the use of icepacks when an injury occurs,
and although the intensity of the sensation be-
tween ice and cold water isn't the same, there is a
benefit to taking one after a hard workout.
On the topic of ice baths, the premise is that the
cold constricts the capillaries and veins and creates
a pumping action, moving waste from the muscles,
aiding in decreasing inflammation and swelling.
Taking a cold bath or shower helps you sleep bet-
ter. Ever notice that if it's too hot you can't fall
asleep as fast? Well, taking a cold shower helps in
Taking a cold shower also helps you wake up. Like
a jolt of energy, a cold bath or shower does the
trick. Personally, I've been progressively trying it
and weaning myself off warm showers. I've been
starting off warm and then turning the dial down
slowly until I finish my shower in cold water.
For the man in your life, cold showers also help with
increasing testosterone, libido and overall strength.
Remember, the testicles hang outside the body to
stay cool, taking hot baths or showers decrease
sperm count and sperm motility. The long term ef-
fect of taking hot baths or showers can seriously
affect his sperm count and fertility. Unless he does-
n't want to have children ... then by all means!
Cold showers burn fat; it sounds simple enough
that if you're in a cold environment your body will
try to raise its core temperature and use fat as an
energy source to do so.
On the vanity side, cold baths and showers close
pores, tighten skin, and doesn't dry out skin as
much as very warm water does. It also keeps hair
shiny, as opposed to hot water, which strips natural
oils. I'm sure hairdressers could enlighten me on
this due to the many different treatments women
go through to keep their hair looking great.
Finally, if you want to stay away from getting sick,
do the opposite of what you're told and bathe in
cold water. Cold water increases your metabolic
rate and also improves your immunity.
I could tell you from first-hand experience I've been
taking more cold showers daily and I'm definitely
seeing a general improvement; I challenged my
friends to take cold showers for a month to see
what happens. I'll also challenge you to try it as well
for a month. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!
Orlando Griffith is an Athletic Development
and Performance Specialist.
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