The power of the cold shower
A while back I gave a short autobiographical account on how I got into a – relatively – healthy lifestyle . I mention there, how it all started with skin deep desires of looking good to get attention of the opposite sex. Not to say that particular driver isn’t still relevant, but the reasons why I currently aim to live a more wholesome lifestyle has gone a bit deeper.
To feel and perform better in other aspects of my life.
Since this path has consumed me, I’ve looked for more ways to gain an edge and improve my wellbeing even further. Martial arts, particular habits – the removal of various destructive ones, meditation, etc. The list goes ever on.
One certain practice that’s gained my attention, and popularity over the last decade is the cold shower. It also goes by ice bath, and cryotherapy.
If you Google ‘cold shower’ you get +17 million results. It’s been touched upon by a myriad of experts, bloggers, and self improvement guru’s.
Clearly there’s something here.
I’m going to throw my 2 cents in the river of this topic, so to speak. I will touch on only a few of the benefits that are immediately of interest to myself and the underlying topics of this blog. Which include mental discipline, physical health, and performance increasers.
But first, a little history on how I stumbled upon this arctic edge.
Pump up the test..
A few years ago I was on the search for natural ways to increase my testosterone levels. Since doing the research I now know your habits and diet will only have marginal effects. If you want the real deal effects, you’ve got to start pinning [needles]. Regardless, among eating Brazilian nuts and doing bench presses with a girl straddling you, I came across the idea of showering cold.
My first thought was; how dreadful.
I love my boiling hot showers. And we’ve all had someone flush the toilet on us or the hot water runs or, or you accidentally hit the knob. In any case, it sucks.
But I started digging into it more, merely because it sounded so outlandish. Even at that early age I knew that sometimes what goes against conventional thought can make all the different.
I began finding consistent accounts of a whole range of benefits. Right around that time I had begun listening to the Joe Rogan Experience. One of the first few podcasts I listened to was with a guest, named Wim Hoff . This guy was an absolute nutcase. He climbed Everest in nothing but shorts. And has climbed many mountains in nothing but a pair of swim shorts.
I was sold, Wim Hof was a total badass. I wanted to be The Iceman!
I’ve been practicing cold showers on and off over the last few years now. I can confirm some of the claimed benefits and only provide you with what everyone else is saying of the rest.
Here we go..
Cold showers take the discipline of a monk..
Before we go into any of the physical effects whatsoever, the first benefit is straight up discipline. Seeing that running water flowing from the shower tap, ice cold to the touch knowing in moments it will consume your body in until discomfort and shock. I don’t know what else to call the ability to jump into that, other than complete discipline.
The will you build from putting yourself into that cold water floods immediately into other areas of your life. It’s been noted before how people drop in productivity when they stop the practice of cold showers. I can speak to this from experience.
Cold showers build momentum..
Something about making that hard decision to shower in ice cold water allows you to do what you know you must do afterwards, whether you want to or not. It’s almost like clockwork after a cold or hot shower. I am almost guaranteed after a cold shower to begin writing and doing various tasks to improve myself at home. After a hot shower, I am much more likely to crawl into bed and throw on a movie.
I like to think of it as a momentum builder. Once you do something positive like that, you’re bound to keep doing bettering activities.
Physical benefits of cold showers..
It wakes you the fuck up. That cold water is like a beautiful slap in the face. It will improve your circulation and increase deep breathing which makes you feel alive and provides energy.
Cold water is good for your body & hair..
Hot water actually damages your hair and skin by removing the natural oil. So taking cold showers can help improve your complexion and reduce ruining that shiny, healthy appearance of hair – and help with premature hair loss!
Cold showers stimulate fat loss..
Fat loss. Yeah back to those shallow goals. But seriously, who doesn’t want an edge of losing some gut. Your body tries to warm itself up when it feels those streams of cold, stimulating your metabolism and burning calories.
Cold showers increase testosterone..
Testosterone boost. How much isn’t certain, probably marginally. But any edge is a positive in my books. Heat denatures protein synthesis, and the cold benefits it. Or something like that.
There’s something here with cold showers. They hold an array of physical and mental benefits that will keep you on the winning path. It’s weird to say this, but they also actually feel great once you’ve been doing it for awhile.
Pro tip to get started showering cold: Start by wetting your hair and face in the shower. Once your head has acclimated and is fully wet, bring the water over your body. It’s definitely a shock. But it’s a good one.
Onwards & Upwards,
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