Health benefits to cold showers? Maybe.
Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest regularly taking a frigid dowsing can produce health benefits. In one theory, the cold works to limit inflammation and redirect blood flow to deep blood vessels, then to the heart, helping remove waste products from the blood. Consider the following:
— A 2016 randomized controlled trial found routine cold showers reduced reports of sickness in adult participants by 29 percent compared to control groups.
— A 2010 study recommends cold water immersion for muscle recovery following exercise.
— Research indicates cold showers could activate fat-burning potential by stimulating “brown fat” stored in the upper body.
Those interested in trying colder showers are advised to reduce temperatures gradually and to keep temps above 61 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid hypothermia.
Want to up your exercise game? Wear a heart rate monitor.
The number of times your heart beats per minute is telling: A strong heart is an efficient heart, pumping more blood to your body in fewer beats.
By wearing a heart rate monitor during exercise, you can measure how effectively you’re strengthening this all-important muscle. Doing so will also reveal whether you’re pushing too hard or not hard enough.
To get started, keep these four different types of heart rate in mind, says Active.com:
— Resting heart rate: Your heart rate when you’re most relaxed.
— Maximum heart rate: You hit your max heart rate when you’ve pushed your heart as hard as possible during aerobic exercise. To calculate your estimated max heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
— Training heart rate: To improve fitness, train between 50-70 percent of your max heart rate.
Recovery heart rate: The ideal post-workout heart rate is 20 beats within your pre-workout resting heart rate.
Take these lifesaving tips in the heat.
Think you don’t need to sweat the heat? Think again. According to the National Weather Service, heat causes the greatest number of weather-related fatalities each year.
Staying cool is more than just about comfort, it can save your life. Follow these tips to stay safe:
Hydration: Water allows you to sweat, which cools the body, so drink up. Remember, H2O is better than caffeinated drinks.
Rest: Take frequent breaks from strenuous work or activity in the heat to allow the body to cool and rest. Avoid being outdoors from noon to 5 p.m. when possible.
Shade: Temperatures are lower in the shade than in the sun, so when outdoors, head to shaded spaces.
Cooling: Using the ambient air and the natural process of evaporation, Portacool evaporative coolers produce chilled air to create a comfortably cool environment in garages or on patios and decks.