A QUICK PREAMBLE:
A regular cold water shower (or bath) is, for many reasons, quite simply very good for you. And although it might not feel like it to the uninitiated, It’s completely and totally natural.
Hot water is, as a matter of fact, a pretty recent development with regards to human history…which we got very used to, very quickly. Now of course it’s a commodity that’s simply taken for granted in most households throughout the world.
Hey, and if it’s your thing, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good steamy hot shower or bath now and again, for pure indulgence and relaxation…
…but honestly, if you wanna experience some real recuperative and daily physical and mental health benefits, then a cold water shower is the way to go!
CUTTING TO THE CHASE:
Now, first of all i gotta tell ya, if you’re not a cold water shower practitioner right now, but you are looking to start, well…it does take a little bit of getting used to.
BUT, you WILL get used to it, very quickly, and i know many men and women who’s lives have been vastly improved by this seemingly ‘self-punishing’ change of habit…including the life and mindset of yours truly!
However, the time between the point of starting with the very first cold shower and the later point of finally becoming used to it is the time that you have to seriously “man-up” (or “chick-up”) and grow some really big ‘cajones’…
…seriously, i don’t want to gloss over any facts here or pretend it’s an overly easy transition to bear…man or woman, you’re gonna need serious biguns to start this habit!
I will NEVER, EVER forget that very first, truly special, cold water shower…
Having read all about it, noted all the evidence and then mentally preparing myself for that very first encounter with the coldest setting of my shower, i went for it.
I was up good and early, carried out my usual sweat inducing work-out, had a quick shave and then into the shower…i went in with the thought: “if those wiry little tibetan monks can do it, so can i!”
So, picture the scene as i took a deep breath, stood directly under the shower head, reached out and ensured the faucet was turned fully clockwise to it’s coldest setting.
Then in one quick stroke i turned on the flow to release my “invigorating” health-and-life-improving deluge…
…Holy F*****G SH1T!
…it honestly felt like i’d been instantly transported and dumped into the freezing north Atlantic ocean. I couldn’t breathe and was convinced my lungs had actually frozen inside of my chest cavity.
I was fairly certain i was gonna have a coronary, not to mention what that freezing water did to my once-proud manhood…the term “countersunk” very much sprang to mind right then and there as i sprang out of the shower-from-hell a whole lot quicker than i entered it!
Trust me when i tell you, i’ve actually ‘diluted’ my profanities of that moment for the sake of the gentle sensibilities of my readers…
…and of course, my mum just might be reading this too!
Anyway, there i was, worrying whether the enamel on my teeth was going to chip with all the chattering going on, convinced that hypothermia had immediately set in and trying desperately to feel my face again while seriously considering using the wife’s hair-dryer on my ‘man-part’ for fear that my ‘shrinkage’ issue may have become permanent…
…and five minutes later i was as warm as toast, feeling totally ‘here’, and as energetic and clear-headed as i was ever likely to be…not bad for a 25 second shower!
That’s when i realised that all the information i’d read, all the things that other people had told me was all perfectly true…and i was hooked.
The next day my cold shower lasted all of 2 minutes and 30 seconds before i got the hell outa there. And there was no heavy panic this time. I was a big brave boy, i left the hair-dryer alone and just let nature take its’ course!
The day after, a full 4 minutes and i was getting serious control of my breathing and strangely enough i actually felt warm for the last minute or so. I now take 4 to 5 minutes with no trouble at all, which really is the maximum anybody needs to be in a shower…things to do, people to see an’ all that!
So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty…the 10 Biggest Benefits Of A Natural Cold Water Shower:
Benefit # 01 – Improves Blood Circulation
It’s basically a survival trait. The blood is sent from the cold surface of your skin down into your vital organs so that all your “important bits” retain warmth and functionality.
This in turn stimulates and strengthens your whole cardiovascular system as your circulation is oxygen-enriched from the extra flow of blood to your organs. Not to mention the extra ‘boost’ when you hyper-ventilate that first time…hehehehe!
Seriously though, your circulation is given a serious kick-start each time.
Benefit # 02 – Reduced Stress
It cools you down man…seriously. If you can easily and comfortably take the stress of what initially feels like a a sub-zero immersion into the depths of the antarctic then you can adapt to any stress anything or anybody throws at you.
Two great de-stressing things happen:
#1 – Your Uric Acid level is lowered…one of your bodily waste products that can cause agonising Gout or Kidney Stones.
#2 – The level of Glutathione in your blood is increased…the absolute master detoxifier for your immune system.
Benefit # 03 – Instant Total Alertness…For The WHOLE Day
Pretty obvious really. A freezing cold water shower is absolutely going to wake your ass up big-time!
The extra oxygen provide by an increased breathing rate as well as a faster heart beat will absolutely kick every synapsis and organ, especially the brain, into a super-accelerated high gear that will last for as long as you need it.
Benefit # 04 – Your Self-Discipline and Will Power are Super-Charged
Discipline and will-power are two very human factors that i believe are so closely related that they need to be mentioned together. And taking a daily natural cold water shower is definitely a test for both at the same time.
If your will-power gets you through the initial stages of this health-strengthening habit, then your self-discipline cannot be faulted…simple!
Benefit # 05 – Alleviates Depression
It’s all about brain-freeze i think…Noradrenaline, a chemical that plays a big part in the negation of depression, is activated under a cold shower.
There have been bona-fide studies that have confirmed the fact that an overall anti-depressive effect is gained when the brain receives heavy amounts of electrical impulse signals due to the cold-water “shock”.
Benefit # 06 – Improved Post-Exercise Recovery
It’s an age-old tradition and well known remedy for tired and aching muscles…professional athletes will often partake of an ice-bath for speedier muscle recovery.
Again there are studies that have confirmed the effectiveness of ice water treatment for aching and even injured muscles and tendons. It works by helping to dilute lactic acid and where a cold shower hasn’t quite got the the major muscle fixing power of a solid freezing dunk in an ice bath, it goes a long way to being effective enough, and isn’t quite so “heart-stopping”…believe it or not!
Benefit # 07 – Raise Testosterone and Fertility Levels in Men
It’s been a known fact for a long time now that regular HOT bathing reduces a guys’ sperm count. A lot. Whereas a cold dunk has been proved to effectively improve sperm count up to a massive 400+%.
There’s a reason those things hang outside us guys’ body you know…it’s cooler than being on the inside.
And that all goes hand-in-hand with Testosterone levels…
Hot = low…cold = high…simple!
Benefit # 08 – Improved Immune System
A fairly recent British study proved that regular cold showers actually increased the circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells. Regular hot showering just doesn’t make the grade when it comes to revving-up our biggest bodily defence system.
Benefit # 09 – Fat Loss
There are two types of fat in our bodies, white and “brown”. The brown fat is the ‘good’ fat…the heat generator for your body.
A cold shower stimulates the brown fat (why do you think all those Tibetan monks are so lean?) with the result that extra calories are burned to keep your internals warm and cosy while you suffer the onslaught of freezing water. Over time, this can lead to substantial fat loss.
Benefit # 10 – Improved Hair and Skin Condition
Yup, cold water improves your skin condition because you won’t destroy the important natural oils your skin needs to flourish. Hot water generally destroys them.
Your hair will look strong and healthy because cold water ensures the follicles stay flat thus keeping a better grip on the scalp…all proven by dermatological tests and great news for us ageing guys…
…right…NOW they tell me!
A Final Anecdote:
If you’re going to achieve anything in life, then you have to suffer and struggle a little at first. That’s the way it is and always has been, but the rewards are always worth the sacrifice.
So ‘man-up’ or ‘Girl-up’ and get ‘chilled’ and take a regular cold water shower. Then your health, your stamina, your looks and your outlook on life WILL undergo a serious change…for the better!
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I’ve used these two quotes on a few other posts but they’re absolutely relevant here…
This from Napolean Hill:
“The Habit Of Taking The Line Of Least Resistance Makes All Rivers…And Some Men, Crooked!”
And this from Joseph Campbell:
“The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek!”
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Carpe Diem, Be All You Should Be
Peter EC Kirwan