Starting on October 20th I made it a goal to take 30 cold showers each day for 30 days. Sound crazy?
As you could imagine, emerging your body into freezing cold water is VERY uncomfortable. That being said, many people would be quite fearful of turning the hot/cold dial of your shower to all-the-way cold and jumping into the water.
But I learned more about the benefits of cold showers and decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. In the worst case, I could always go back to taking hot showers.
My first cold shower:
This experience was one of the most energizing activities I have ever done (other than skydiving). When the water hit my body, my skin almost jumped, my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest and my breathing rate went up uncontrollably!
But then after a minute or two, my body began to adapt to the temperature and slowly calm down. Somewhere around the fifth minute, the shower became almost bearable.
After about 7 minutes, I stepped out of the shower feeling like a CHAMPION.
I felt like I achieved something great and was excited to take on whatever the day had in store for me. It was an INSTANT confidence boost, and most likely nothing would be as difficult or uncomfortable as what I had just gone through.
I felt ALIVE.
So it began. I then embarked on a journey to attempt 30 days of freezing cold showers (shower dial turned all the way cold) and videotape my insights along the way.
What did I learn?
In short, I found personal evidence that cold showers can improve the health of your skin: My body had less acne breakouts during this challenge.
I also noticed first hand mental improvements such as increased energy level, better confidence in overcoming fear and increased tolerance for the uncomfortable. I have also found evidence from other sources that cold showers can improve testosterone levels, blood circulation, immunity, fertility, hair health and mental state.
**Also, Tim Ferriss mentions on his blog that cold water immersion can accelerate muscle recovery after workouts and even cure depression.
I also noticed first hand mental improvements such as increased energy level, better confidence in overcoming fear and increased tolerance for the uncomfortable.
The philosophy behind cold showers makes sense to me as well: It is not natural to have daily access to hot water.
Evolutionary speaking, the human species has been around for approximately 200,000 years. And think about how long we have had access to hot water.. Maybe 200 years or so? That is only 0.1% of our entire existence! In other words, it is completely unnatural for us to bathe in hot water, besides the rare case of living near hot springs.
If you go out in the wilderness you likely won’t find any naturally occurring hot water. This means if you wanted to clean yourself thousands of years ago, the only option you would have is immerse yourself in very COLD river or lake water. This was pretty much the only way to clean your body.
I have been continuing cold showers ever since the 30 day challenge because I found that the positive aspects (high energy, skin health, etc) far outweighed any of the negative ones (fear and feeling a little uncomfortable).
I highly urge you to give cold showers a try. Do it once and see what you think. Yes, it will be scary and uncomfortable but know that you will also experience the many benefits that come with it.
As the saying goes: No pain no gain
Let me know how it goes!
I am an enthusiastic explorer of life, modern philosopher and life coach. I write about optimal living and the pursuit of happiness. I also host the Find Your Greatness health podcast on iTunes and interview experts, coaches, authors and inspiring entrepreneurs every week. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
By Jack Peterson
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