Every single day I have a cold shower. This might sound crazy to you but there are some great benefits from doing this mentally and physically. Either I begin with warm and then finish with a minute or two of cold (the James Bond way if you’ve ever read the books) or a full on cold shower. I alternate between the two. A cold shower is good practice in facing uncomfortable situations regardless of your thought process which is exactly where you grow and develop.
Many cultures have used cold showers as a beneficial practice. The ancient greeks even after developing heating systems for their baths, the spartans (hot showers were for the weak), the native americans and the samurai who used to dump a bucket of ice cold water on their heads as soon as they got up in the morning. Even athletes nowadays have ice baths to help recover from training or injury.
I first read about taking cold showers in the free book ‘The Flinch’ by Julien smith. You can find his blog at www.inoveryourhead.net. A book on facing your fears everyday and challenges to do so and this was one of them. I also read other bloggers write on the advantages of cold showers and was determined to try it. It wasn’t an easy habit to form, the first 10 seconds of your first cold shower is something to behold making it so tempting to turn the dial to warm.
However the rewards are plentiful if you add this uncomfortable habit to your life.
Forget your coffee, imagine a cold shower in the morning to wake you up or I guess you could do both. It’s a surefire way to get your heart pumping and it will definitely get your lungs filled with oxygen as a cold shower forces you to breath deeply. Feel invigorated and say goodbye to morning grogginess!
I haven’t been ill for quite a while (touch wood). Is it due to cold showers, eating healthier or exercise? I say it’s all three. People get colds/flus when the temperature drops suddenly but people who take cold showers are more adapted to effects like this so their bodies respond better resulting in a reduced chance of illness. It also increases the number of white blood cells in your system which are responsible for fighting infection. As an added bonus cold showers stimulate noradrenaline secretion in the brain which is associated to improving mood and alleviating depression.
A very important benefit of cold showers. You feel a great sense of accomplishment after having a cold shower because most people would not be able to put themselves through one. It’s also practice, practice for those bigger goals you have because there all going to have an element of discomfort to it. It teaches your mind that you can make it out of discomfort and builds trust in yourself that even if something appears scary you can get through it.
Which man doesn’t want more testosterone. It has a myriad of benefits from increasing your energy level, your libido (Yes some of you need it ;)), the amount of muscle you pack on and even your competitive drive. Therefore you need as much as you can get and this is a natural way to increase your reservoir of that manly good stuff.
Fat Burning and Recovery Boosting
Why do you think athletes take ice baths. I highly doubt it’s for their own pleasure. Exposing yourself to cold as well as hot water helps your blood circulation and the removal of toxins like lactic acid in your muscles which alleviates post workout inflammation and soreness. Cold showers also help you lose fat! (now I’ve got your attention). It does this forcing your body to expend calories trying to warm you up and increasing your metabolic rate .
Healthier Skin and Hair
I’m not sure if I’ll convince many of you females out there reading this in taking cold showers you but this might change that. Better looking hair and skin (no make up required). Hot water opens up your pores and dries out your skin and hair. On the other hand, cold water tightens them up which makes your skin healthier combating against blemishes like acne and your hair stronger diminishing the chances of hair loss. This is why it’s better to at least end with cold if your not going to have an entire cold shower. I can say this actually works because people have told me that my skin looks healthier right after having a cold shower.
So I guess you thought you were pretty badass doing the ice bucket challenge well I give you the cold shower challenge. I’ve given you the benefits so bring out that spartan inside of you and try one for the next 30 days! (and not a lukewarm shower, turn that dial as far cold as it can go!)