After recently going 12 months straight without drinking any alcohol I decided it was time for another challenge.
I prefer 30 day challenges to year long ones, as they are a lot easier to achieve.
After listening to this Podcast and others like it I decided to try showering under cold water for 30 days.
Initially I started just having the shower on cold for around 30 seconds as that is believed to be the minimum amount of time needed to get some benefits. After 5 days (I normally shower twice a day) I found that I could do the whole shower cold.
So far I have achieved 16 days in a row of cold showers and I have to say there are some noticeable effects.
What are the benefits of cold showers?
Better Hair – Cold showers help with split ends, it is believed that it can also help with making your hair shinier. Unfortunately I don’t have much hair in order to verify this but I have certainly seen it mentioned in many places.
Improved Circulation – as that cold water hits your unsuspecting body your organs scream out for blood. This rush of blood to your organs is what helps improve circulation and heart health overall.
From experiencing that rush of blood myself I can say that cold showers definitely get the blood flowing.
Helps with Depression – Many experts believe that cold water showers can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Improves Skin – Even celebrities tout the benefits of rinsing their skin in ice cold water.
Helps the planet – By minimizing the use of heating and the ensueing wasted energy you can be sure that you are doing your bit, not only for yourself, but for the planet as well.
Speeds up recovery – Athletes caught onto this years ago. The benefits of an ice bath after hard exercise have been proven many times. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/Ice-Bath.htm
Testosterone – without going to much into the benefits of male anatomy, it is fairly well accepted in scientific circles that coldness is beneficial to the production of testosterone.
Immunity – Not only will cold showers help the planet live longer, they also help you fight off disease better by increasing immunity. I can’t be sure that cold showers help immunity, but I can tell you haven’t been sick in the last couple of weeks.
Techniques and tips to make cold showers easier
Its not easy jumping into a cold shower and here are a few techniques that I found made things a little easier.
Put your head under first – I read that your head is less susceptible to the cold, compared to other parts of the body and I have to agree on that. So one way to get started on introducing your body to the freezing cold stream of water is to stick your head into it.
Put in one part of your body at a time – another thing you can do is stick a hand and arm in for a bit, then the other hand, then each leg. Once you have done that just get tough and jump right in there.
Getting your back under that water – this normally the toughest thing, but once you have done that the water will not seem to be as cold any more. Give it a minute or so and you will start to become somewhat comfortable believe it or not.
Be patient – Just keep doing a bit each day. It does get easier over time.
Try to distant body from mind – Not always easy to do but a good idea if you can try to distance the feeling of cold, from the reality of the situation.
Cold water showers may not be for everyone. It’s easy to see how in a cold climate it would be extremely challenging to have a cold shower.
The benefits however, are considerable if you are willing to show some discipline and experience a small amount of discomfort.
Are you going to jump on the cold shower bandwagon? Why or why not?