5 Rules for Showering at the Gym

Shower With Hot and Cold Water

Hot shower or cold? It's an ongoing debate as to which is better. Some considerations:

  • A hot shower relaxes your overworked muscles.
  • A cold shower reduces inflammation and can speed recovery.
  • A hot shower dries your skin more by washing away oils.
  • A cold shower is a shock to your system.

There's truth in all these contentions. In the final analysis, as long as you soap well and rinse the sweat off, either hot or cold water can work. Some like the relaxing feel of a hot shower. Others like the invigorating sensation of cold water.

Probably the best compromise is to alternate hot and cold water while you shower. Hot water increases blood flow to your skin; cold constricts surface vessels and forces blood inward. The combo has a good effect on your circulation. Going back and forth from hot to cold feels especially stimulating. Another good choice is to take a warm -- but not hot -- shower.

One bonus of a cold or alternating shower is that you use less hot water. And that's good for the environment.

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