Karachi: A shower is a must after any kind of physical work or workout as it cleans the body. But did you know that it also helps reduce stress and in losing weight? A post-workout shower also helps in enhancing recovery and immunity. How to maximize your workout in the changing room:
1. Hygiene – First and foremost, a post-workout shower is essential in terms of hygiene. The sweat that you produce whilst exercising might be a sign of a good session, but people would prefer to hear about it rather than smell it. Showering is especially important if you play sports where you might have contact with another person.
For swimmers, this is equally important as the chlorine in swimming pools will damage your hair and skin if you simply towel off after getting out.
2. Recovery – A shower can help aid recovery after a hard session. Aching muscles the day after a hard exercising session, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), can be prevented by having an ice-cold shower and holding the showerhead directly over the muscles you’ve been working.
Elite athletes will use an ice bath, but putting your shower in the coldest setting is a quicker and easier alternative. If you exercise daily or more than once a day this is especially important as you can start your next session without being impeded by DOMS, allowing you to maintain the intensity of the previous session.
If you are still feeling a little ‘tight’ in the morning, a hot shower can help to increase blood flow to the muscles allowing them to relax and ease the tension.
3. Fat loss – If exercise is integral to healthy weight loss, so is a cold shower afterward. To maintain your body temperature during a cold shower, your metabolism can increase by up to 550 percent of its resting level, meaning that you burn more calories just to stay warm. If a freezing cold shower is too uncomfortable, even low levels of cold can increase the energy demands of your body and increase muscle tone.
4. Health and mood – Some sports actively encourage showering as an integral part of their training regime. The Taekwon-Do moral code for example explains that cold showers (known as naeng soo machal) can help students build pride and tenacity.
As the saying goes – healthy mind, healthy body: exposure to cold water has also shown an increase in the body’s supply of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione which boosts the immune system.