- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
5 Health Benefits of Hot Showers
"Why do I need to know the benefits of hot showers?" I hear you cry.
"Because you need to know how your body works to be healthy!" I reply!
A lot of people now find themselves asking whether they should take hot, cold, or a mixture of both types of showers to improve their health.
Below are the reasons for taking hot showers but If you'd like to know why anyone would be so crazy as to take cold showers then definitely check out "10 Benefits of Cold Showers".
1. Cleaner Pores - Cleaner Skin!
Throughout our day, we come across thousands of toxins, irritants, and dirt particles that lodge themselves under our skin and embed themselves there. They clog up the pores and this result in many terrible things like acne, blackheads, and whiteheads.
When exposed to more heat than usual, the natural response of the skin is to open up its pores (tiny holes in the skin) so that more heat can escape the body. This prevents your body from overheating on a hot Summer's day or whilst you're in the shower.
Luckily, this also gives the pores a chance to have all of the gunk that we collected throughout the day to wash away with the running hot water. This will improve your complexion too and give your face a cleaner look. Did you know that we can naturally tell the difference between a clean face and one lodged with dirt?
Having hot showers will leave you and your pores feeling fresh and clean, and that's just number 1!
2. HSPs - A More Resilient Body!
Heat Stress Proteins (HSPs) are like the protectors of our cells against all things stressful. They emerge in great numbers after our bodies have experienced any kind of stress that hasn't resulted in their deaths! This is so that next time, the cells will be better prepared for that particular stress a lot better than the first time. What doesn't kill them truly makes them stronger!
Their main stimulus being (hence the name) heat means that taking hot showers every day will result in the production and maintenance of these extra useful little proteins!
To highlight the importance of these proteins, it's important to note that research has and is continuing to be done on how best to use these proteins to help astronauts stay healthy (prevent muscle atrophy) in low gravity conditions! They are also now being considered in weightlifting regimes.
You might rightly ask: "so why don't our cells just become super strong in the first place?" and the answer is undoubtedly because it takes a lot more resources (i.e. protein) in the diet to maintain these more resilient cells. Evolutionarily, we tried to conserve all of our resources because we just didn't know when we would eat again!
With these super proteins only coming out when needed, the body will only become stronger when it has to, hence the need for a stimulus.
In the modern age however, there are many people who can easily afford to buy enough food to manage a higher maintenance but healthier body. Hopefully, this is you! Reap the benefits that our ancients couldn't!
3. It Relaxes You!
Long day at work? Children being difficult? Stressed with school work?
Why not take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water...
Sounds good? Of course it does! And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either!
It sounds good because we can all appreciate the comfort of warm water on our backs after a tiring day.
This will be one of the key deciders for people who are tackling the question of "cold or hot showers?" A cold shower is simply (at the time) not a relaxing experience!
4. Relieves Muscular Aches and Speeds Up Recovery
After a marathon, sports competition, or just long day running around from here to there, our muscles require a chance to repair themselves! As well as sleeping, the application of heat to torn and fatigued muscles is vital to the healing process.
This is because heat is necessary for all metabolic reactions (all chemical processes) in our bodies to happen at a reasonable enough rate to do anything useful! As a rule of thumb, increasing the amount of heat will increase the rate of a chemical reaction, so increasing the temperature of your muscles for a while with a hot shower will help them heal faster too!
5. It Builds a Better Body!
Part of releasing copious amounts of Heat Stress Proteins (HSPs) is that our cells will become better suited to the stress of exercise! Exercise of course makes us very hot and so (by the same process as hot showers) it creates HSPs in the cells used! This means regular hot showers train our cells for exercise without the risks of pulling or tearing muscles, in turn promising better performance in the gym, school team, or work-sports competition! Brilliant!
If that were not enough, we now know that HSPs aid metabolic rates and the creation of muscle mass! In a test conducted on mice (sorry mice!), those that were exposed to a fixed increase in heat for an hour each day had a remarkable ~20% more muscle mass than those who were not!
All in All
All in all I hope I have enlightened you about some of the lesser known benefits of hot showers! That said, however, the more known value of a relaxing hot showers seem to be the ones stopping people from switching to cold showers which give many better benefits.
As a recap, the benefits of hot showers include:
- Cleaner pores
- A more resilient body (all round)
- Relieving muscular pains and speeding up recovery
- Better athletic performance and a better body!
Links for (Scientific) Minks!
- 10 Health Benefits of Cold Showers
Find out the benefits of cold showers!
- Bodybuilding.com - Heat Shock Proteins: Scientific Discovery Shocks Nutrition Industry!
- The Power of a Hot Shower