Thursday, December 13, 2012 21:51
Are you a workout monster? If you love to exercise so much, whether for fitness or for muscle improvement, you better know some risks of too much exercise. This includes straining, muscle cramps, injuries and all sorts of accidents may happen during exercise.
But what about post-workout activities? Do you have less worries after workout? Do you go straight into a cafeteria for some break or you go straight to the shower room? If you have a habit of taking a shower after workout especially cold bath, think again because it certainly pose some risks.
In this short post, I will tell you some of the health hazards of taking a bath after an strenuous exercise. Let me discuss it in full detail.
Health Risks of Cold Shower After Workout
Whether you are an athlete or just any level of fitness guru, there is only one common thing that makes people do after workout and that is to take a shower. So is it okay to take a shower after workout? Is this habit comes with health risks?
I remember a friend that usually plays basketball every afternoon. He played one game with his friends and after that, he took a shower due to other commitments. After an hour of refreshing clean up, he fell down to the floor and went straight into comatose.
After three days, he died. The doctors said that the cause of death was triggered by a quick shower after an intense workout – basketball. I just couldn’t remember the exact name of the disease but the incident truly happened.
So what does science have to say about this mystery? In general and in proper way of exercise, experts suggests that you do warm up exercises to prepare your body for the upcoming physiological stress. After that, exercise also requires cooling down routines to signal the end of a workout.
Medically speaking, when we workout, your heart rate increases which works double time to pump oxygen-rich blood into other parts of your body especially to different parts of muscle groups.
Exercise will trigger lactic acid build up in the muscles which is mainly due to the lack of oxygen. In this process, your body will require more energy in the form of glucose to meet its needs. When this occurs, your body temperature will increase regardless of the intensity of your workout.
A hot shower (which is a usual habit by athletes after workout) after exercise will trigger smooth blood flow all over the body, helping your skin glows and relieves muscle aches. In contrast, cold shower will immediately cood down your temperature and your heart rate. Interestingly, studies suggests that cold shower after workout also increases blood circulation.
Cold shower will inhibit lactic muscle build up so you won’t feel some burn after workout. Cold shower also lessens your risk of muscle inflammation and pain caused by intense exercise.
So is it Safe?
Not exactly! There is one important thing to do before you plunge in either hot or cold shower – you need to cool down. Cool down as I’ve said earlier is a basic but most important routine in any workout regimen. Not practicing any cooling down method would mean disaster to your health.
Cooling down routines will help your heart rate back to normal, as well as your body temperature. Experts suggests a cool down session of at least 20 minutes per session of any types of workouts. Plus, you don’t need to shower into a very hot nor an icy cold water. Either way would dilate your blood vessels, which will make you prone to sudden stroke and heart attack, which my friend suffered.
Exercising is a good way to get in shape and be fit. I understand that you need to clean up after an intense workout. However, you need to consider the risks involved in taking a shower in a post-exercise situation. You need to rest for a bit before plunging into a mid range temperature water to avoid any health risks.