Dear Eco-Worrier, Have You Tried Cold Showers?
Dear Eco- Worrier,
Are you ready to try something new on your today on your eco-journey?Why Should You Consider Taking Cold Showers?
Cold showers?! That’s right. You should be taking cold showers every day. Sound nuts? You’re going to change your mind! (I think)
A cold shower has a ton of benefits over a hot shower. It’s not easy to voluntarily stand in a cold stream of water, but it’s not as challenging as you might think.
If you’ll give it a chance, you’ll grow to love taking a cold shower each morning!
Chris Evans from Virgin Radios breakfast show swears by his regular 15-sec cold shower. Declaring that it has "changed his life" and has enabled him to breathe more deeply than before.
Consider these benefits of a cold shower:
Some stress can be good for your body. Within reason, your body responds positively to certain stresses:
- When you lift something heavy, you become stronger.
- When you go for a run, your cardiovascular system improves.
- When you recover from an illness, your immune system is stronger.
- Fasting has many health benefits.
- Exposure to cold or heat is also good for you.
- All of this must be done within reason. A stressor that is too great can damage your body or mind. It can even kill you.
Some stress is good for your mind. Dealing with an uncomfortably cold shower builds emotional resilience. Everything seems a little easier to manage after getting out of a 45-degree shower.
- A cold shower isn’t really all that hard on your body, but it’s tough on your mind. Give a cold shower a chance and you’ll see why! It’s a great way to enhance your ability to persevere.
- Exposure to cold is good for fat loss. Brown fat is used primarily for the generation of heat. Cold conditions stimulate brown fat. This type of fat is very metabolically active. Giving your brown fat a kickstart each morning can do wonders to improve your level of leanness.
Cold showers enhance circulation. Exposure to cold drives your blood away from the surface of your body toward your organs.
- This has a positive effect on your circulation and exposes your organs to more oxygen and other nutrients.
- Cold showers boost alertness. Tired in the morning? You won’t be after a cold shower! You’ll be surprised how clear-headed, calm, and alert you feel after you step out of the shower. All it takes is a couple of minutes of discomfort.
- A cold shower can relieve the symptoms of depression. No one is positive why cold showers can help those suffering with depression. The theory is that the cold water is very stimulating to the nerves in the skin. The magnitude of these nerve impulses traveling to the brain seems to disrupt depression in some way.
- There’s one more important advantage. If you regularly take hot showers, you know how uncomfortable and chilly it can be when it’s time to get out and dry off. With cold showers, you’ll feel warm and toasty instead!
What is the best way to take a cold shower? It’s entirely up to you. Experiment and see what works for you.
The more I have read up on it the more it seems vital to do some specialized breathing first - this seems to make a distinctive difference in the physical reaction to the cold water. Start with the breathing exercises. A very fast inhale as deep as you can possibly go (As deep as if you are in competition with your buddies in childhood about who can hold their breath for the longest). Follow that by just letting the breath just come out of you. 20 or so times. If you do much yoga or meditation this practice will be quite normal for you. Then hold your breath until you can’t take it anymore (Be careful when you do this! Some people pass out if they go too hard).
Now into the cold shower....
Here’s one good method:
- Start with a warm shower. Do all your bathing in warm, but not hot water. Hot water is hard on your hair and skin. It also makes the cold part of the shower more miserable.
- Do the breathing exercises as mentioned above.
- Turn down the temperature. Not a lot, but enough to feel a little chill. Be sure to move around. Expose your front, back, and head to the cool water.
- Repeat. Keep turning down the temperature and exposing your body to the water. Do this a few more times.
- Make the water as cold as you can stand it. Spend as long as you can (secs-mins) exposing yourself to this very cold water. Remember to move around.
That’s it. The entire cold part of the shower should take five minutes or so. Those five minutes will not pass slowly. You’ll be amazed by how comfortable your body becomes with cold water after a week or two.
You are also saving money by not heating the water - this really is just getting better and better isn't it?!
Give cold showers a chance. You’ll be glad you did.
If your curiosity is peaked by this why not head on over to the cold therapy guru, Wim Hof's website to learn more about this practice.