A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away. Seriously. I started taking cold showers after hearing so many amazing things about them. I was actively searching for ways I could boost my health & wellness naturally and cold showers were amongst the most popular suggestions. Cold showers have been shown to improve your immune system, boost feel-good endorphins, increase good fat, decrease bad fat, boost testosterone & more.
I have always hated the cold with a passion. I hated cold so much that I would literally dread the moment where I had to turn the shower off and grab my towel. I knew that taking a cold shower was not going to be easy for me. When I started, I went directly in the cold, no warm water, start to finish. Those Santa Cruz winters were fun; felt like needles. I was particularly drawn to taking cold showers because I always got sick, at least once a year. I had just gone through one of my worst bouts with illness at this time of my life, so I wanted to make some changes. Ever since I was young, I would catch any sickness going around. My immune system sucked.
Ever since implementing cold showers, my immune system has become unstoppable. In the past 2 years I haven’t gotten sick. If anything, I catch a case of the sniffles and they are gone in a day. It’s amazing. I am much more tolerant to cold weather & actually enjoy a crisp, cold morning. I have been maintaining an extremely low body fat % (5%) which I also attribute to intermittent fasting & my workout regimen. My skin & hair feel & look healthier. My pain tolerance has increased. It gives me a TON of energy. The benefits are real.
Cold showers can even be used as a tool to break negative habits or thought patterns. The cold is a very shocking stimulus that induces deep breathing and forces you into the present moment. Often times, shocking the nervous system is almost the equivalent to hitting reset. Just simply making the change to cold showers will disrupt your normal routine. You are introducing something new & challenging into your daily routine which will force you to physiologically & psychologically adapt. This very adaptation can be enough to kickstart your energy and boost you out of that depressive mood you’ve been in for the past few weeks. A cool exercise I’ve come up with uses cold showers as a tool to nullify triggers for addictive behavior. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re trying to quit smoking. When you have that urge to light up in the morning, instead of grabbing the cigarette, hop in a cold shower; shock your nervous system. Strange, but effective. Remember, no quick fixes, this is an exercise. Try it.
I am more confident & open to new experiences. I have less fear & apprehension… That’s a strange one, huh? Every single morning, I hate jumping in the shower. I stand there naked, already cold, staring at the shower handle. “Fuck, here we go”. Boom, a blast of sharp needles all over my body. Never once do I regret it. So, every morning I am essentially winning a battle against my inner bitch. “Nah, don’t study now… Go hangout with your friends you still have a week until the exam- no bitch, you’re studying now”. This increase in willpower and extinction of fear has slowly spilled into all aspects of my life. Aside from the physiological benefits, I have noticed a drastic difference in my psychology. The psychological implications of forcing yourself to endure the cold every day typically aren’t considered.
How to start? I would suggest taking your normal shower & ending it with about 30 secs-1 min in the cold. After a couple of weeks, begin your shower cold, turn it warm, then end with cold. Finally, once you feel ready, cold from start to finish. Good luck!