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General Practice 2023

Iced bath or hot bath: what are the benefits for he althúde

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Iced bath or hot bath: what are the benefits for he althúde
Iced bath or hot bath: what are the benefits for he althúde

The temperature of bath water can have different he alth benefits depending on whether it is warmer or colder. In the case of a hot bath, which involves the use of water at temperatures around 37ºC, it is a good form of relaxation and can be done before bed, as it allows for better reflection and/or meditation, in addition to reducing muscle tension., fatigue and everyday stress.

The cold bath, despite being uncomfortable for many people, is an excellent way, right after waking up, to fight fatigue and make the person more willing to carry out day-to-day activities. In addition, it can help relieve muscle pain or inflammation, such as blows, and even help treat depression, for example.

In this way, the choice of type of bath depends on the objective to be achieved, the he alth problem to be treated, or even the person's tolerance to the temperature of the water.

Benefits of a cold shower

The main he alth benefits of cold showers are:

1. Stimulate the immune system

A cold bath can help strengthen the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are defense cells, increasing the body's protection against diseases such as the flu or cold, for example.

A scientific study carried out in the Netherlands [1] showed that people who took a cold shower in the morning had fewer severe flu symptoms than people who showered normally, in addition to feel more energized, which also helps them recover from illness more easily.

2. Increase disposition and alertness

The cold bath increases disposition, alertness and the feeling of well being because it improves blood circulation, increasing the body's oxygen demand, which ends up reducing fatigue. In this way, taking a cold shower as soon as you wake up can help you have more motivation to perform daily tasks.

3. Improve blood circulation

A cold bath helps to improve circulation because when cold water comes in contact with the skin, it causes the blood vessels on the surface of the body to constrict, which leads to an increase in blood circulation within the body. body in an attempt to maintain body temperature.

In addition to making blood circulation more efficient, a cold bath reduces the production of inflammatory substances and helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, for example.

However, if there is a family history of cardiovascular diseases or if you have a heart condition, it is important to go to the cardiologist regularly and carry out the treatment as instructed, since the cold bath does not replace the treatment indicated by the doctor.

4. Helping in the treatment of depression

Some studies show that taking an ice bath can help treat depression, because cold water activates the cold receptors present in the skin, sending various electrical signals to the brain, resulting in an increase in endorphin concentration, which it is a neurotransmitter that guarantees the feeling of well being.

Nevertheless, more studies need to be carried out to prove this effect. In addition, it is important that the person with depression continues to follow the treatment indicated by the psychiatrist, because the cold bath does not replace the treatment indicated by the doctor.

5. Decrease muscle pain

The ice bath promotes the contraction of blood vessels, decreasing muscle pain and helping muscle recovery after intense physical activity. Some studies carried out have shown that the cold bath is able to reduce the symptoms of inflammation and prevent muscle fatigue.

In addition, the fact that there is a contraction of the vessels helps to reduce any swelling that the person presents and that causes pain. Despite this, just a cold bath is not enough to treat muscle pain or swelling, and it is important that the person follows the treatment indicated by the doctor.

6. Speed ​​up metabolism

Taking cold showers can help speed up metabolism because when the body comes in contact with cold water, the body expends more energy to stay warm, which increases calorie burning.

Furthermore, the ice bath stimulates the production of brown fat, a specific type of adipose tissue, which generates energy by burning calories, which can help even more people who want to lose weight.

7. Taking care of skin he alth

The cold bath helps to maintain the skin's he alth, because it does not remove the natural oil and does not dry the skin as is more common with a hot bath, in addition to temporarily closing the pores, which reduces the entry of pollution into the skin, and improve the skin's firmness.

Also, cold water promotes the contraction of blood vessels in the skin, and fights redness and itching, which can be helpful in relieving skin conditions that cause itching, redness, or swelling, such as hives or eczema, for example.

8. Prevent hair from drying out

Taking an ice bath, washing the hair in cold water, helps to retain the hair's natural oiliness, close the pores and seal the hair cuticles, leaving the hair softer, smoother and hydrated. In addition, with the hair's pores closed, the hair is less exposed to the harmful effects of pollution and sweat, which can dry out the hair.

However, washing your hair with cold water can be uncomfortable for some people, and in these cases, you should prefer washing your hair with warm, but never hot, water, as hot water dehydrates the strands and can worsen hair dryness.

Benefits of a hot bath

The main benefits of a hot bath are:

1. Relieve breathing problems

Hot bath helps relieve respiratory problems such as sinusitis, flu or bronchitis, as the warm, moist steam of bath water makes the phlegm more liquid, opens the airways, reduces irritation and swelling of the airways respiratory symptoms, relieving the symptoms of a blocked or runny nose, headache and cough, for example.

2. Help you sleep better

The warm bath before bed helps to relax muscles, relieve tension and relieve tiredness, allowing you to sleep better.

In addition, a hot bath, taken 60 to 90 minutes before bed, also helps to calm down, reduce anxiety and stress, and causes a feeling of cleanliness, which makes the person more relaxed, making sleep easier.

3. Relax your muscles

Hot bath helps to relax muscles and relieve muscle soreness as hot water promotes blood flow, which helps carry excess lactic acid and other toxins out of the muscles, relieving pain.Hot water is recommended for muscle soreness lasting more than 48 hours, because in the first few days it is best to take a cold bath to reduce inflammation.

The hot bath is also very useful to relieve body tension, muscle or joint pain caused by fibromyalgia, arthritis or back pain, as the dilation of blood vessels allows more blood, oxygen and nutrients to reach the fabrics.

4. Remove toxins from the skin

The hot bath opens the skin pores, which allows you to clean dirt, excess oil and remove toxins from the skin, which accumulate throughout the day, leaving the skin looking fresher and cleaner.

5. Relieve Migraine

Hot bath can also help relieve migraines and headaches, as it reduces pain signals reaching the brain and increases blood flow to the muscles, helping to relax and reduce pain caused by migraine or headache.

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