Turn your faucet all the way to cold and step into the showering tundra sure to take your breath away. You have heard about cold showers and many of their benefits, but never bothered to try it; after all only a madman would submit their self to such a thing. Right? Though I’m not here to spout the scientific benefits of cold showers to you, I only wish to tell you how it makes me feel.
The first time I heard about cold showers, I was doubtful. After all, how could I possibly forgo my luxurious hot shower for the complete opposite? It cannot be worth all the hype. Fear of being uncomfortable, and worry I may not enjoy my showers as much held me back for so long. But the little voice inside kept saying, “Do it” despite my constant resistance. So finally I took a leap of faith, and have not turned back yet.
I had played with taking “cool” showers for some time. After a workout, or just on a hot day, it’s easy to turn your dial slightly towards the “c”, but never in a million years all the way in that direction! Secretly hoping that was going to be good enough, I resisted the urge to go all the way. Until one day I finally tried it. It was shocking, exhilarating, exciting, and cold. Like the kind of cold that takes your breath away, literally. But it felt good to be uncomfortable; to fight the urge to leave and stick it out. And when you finish, it’s like you’ve been re-born with a new body and a new confidence. So how does it all work? There are a couple options.
I like to take a warm/hot shower at first and switch to cold half way through. While the shower is still warm, I cleanse my body and hair. This makes it easier to clean as warm/hot water washes the dirt away better.
Now is time to turn the dial all the way to cold, and here you have a couple options. One, stay in it and brace yourself as the cold hits your head and runs down your body. Two, you can take a step out and slowly submerge your digits one by one. You can then massage each part to warm it up and get it used to the temperature. Either works, and you’ll just have to experiment which you prefer. I used to take a step away and slowly introduce the cold. But now I prefer to stay under as the cold hits my head first and runs down the rest of my body. To each’s own.
Whichever method you choose, once it gets cold, it’s tempting to back away. Don’t. Allow the water to cover your entire body. I allow the water to run on my breasts as I pound on my chest to stimulate the lymph nodes and get circulation moving around that area. I’ll turn around and let the water run on my lower back while I rub that area to stimulate my organs. Then on my face, hair, legs, and arms. Honestly, there is not a “right” method to do this. I like to move and turn a lot to help get my body used to the temperature. You may enjoy just sitting and standing under the cold water. As long as you let it run over your body for a bit, at least 30 seconds, you will reap the benefits it has to offer.
During your cold shower you will notice your breathing has become deeper, your muscles more reflexive, and your body almost starts to numb. You may find yourself jumping around, shouting, or calling out, that’s normal. I find myself making raspberries with my lips as a distraction.
So why are we doing this to ourselves? Many reasons, and some you will notice immediately. But among the host of benefits cold showers offer, these are some that were physically noticeable for me right away:
After taking the warm shower which opens up the pores and cleans them out, taking a cold shower closes them back up. I wasn’t even doing this as a method to clear up my skin, but every time I step out of the shower and dry myself off, I notice my skin just looks better. Something about it leaves a glow unlike any other. Redness is reduced and overall inflammation seems much lower.
You’ll notice when you step out of the shower, you feel stronger and ready for the world. Like you can take on anything that gets thrown in your direction. You’ll appreciate your reflection in the mirror as you have just gone through this feat. Take a moment and appreciate the body you were given and it’s ability to handle such an intense and stimulating time.
Cold showers wake you up. They give you a vitality that would have been wilted from a hot shower. Instead you are invigorated and more alert. Your muscles and body have been tested and are ready for the day ahead.
On really hot days, this is quite noticeable. Before a cold shower I may feel lethargic and unmotivated. Sticky and overheated. Stepping out I feel cool, calm, and collected. The heat doesn’t seem to bother me anymore as my body is now regulated and prepared for drastic temperatures. How about when it is colder out? Well, we will find out as I continue this ritual through the fall and winter.
I don’t get colds very often. I truly believe my diet and stress levels have a huge impact on this as I try to eat well and keep stress to a minimum. But since I’ve added cold showers to my mornings, I have felt an even bigger immunity boost. I believe my body is stronger and less prone to sickness now due to this, and I’m definitely not the first to say that! In fact, since starting this procedure 5 months ago, I have not come down with the common cold, or any sickness for that matter despite those around me getting sick. And if I did feel something coming on, my body was able to fight it off quickly and effectively with the slightest symptoms. I believe cold showers had a huge part in this.
I don’t know what it is, but I never feel more clean and fresh than after a cold shower. If I were to only take a warm, neutral shower, I’d step out in a warm and neutral state. By turning the dial to cold for the end of the shower, I feel my routine is complete and I emerge feeling cleaner both physically and mentally.
These are just a few benefits I noticed. Some of the other benefits of cold showers includes improved circulation, better lymphatic drainage, softer, shinier hair, stimulates weight loss, boosts fertility, deepens breathing, and improves your overall well-being. I choose to partake every time I take a shower which is every other day (give or take). You can do it once a week if you’d like, but I’d suggest at least that if you want to benefit from it.
So, you think you want to give it a try? Go for it. Step out of your comfort zone. I bet you’ll actually enjoy it.