Anyone here a “fan” of cold showers? Any experiences or insights you’d like to share?
I’ve been having cold showers for the last week – after being sold on the idea on the basis of a trusted friend’s recommendation and a little research – and I have to say that I’m “enjoying” them. Very early days, but I’m finding them invigorating and energising.
At the end of every shower, I’ve turned the water as cold as it will go and then stayed under it for a minute or so. By keeping my breathing smooth and controlled, it quickly becomes bearable.
There’s a meditative aspect as you need to focus on your breathing. If you lose control of your mind and focus on the discomfort, then the discomfort grows. Stay forced on the breathing and it feels a lot less cold.
The science suggests that cold showers can have the following benefits:
Improved mood (studies have shown it can help with depression).
Increased testosterone levels (so much for the idea of “taking a cold shower” to reduce romantic ardour!).
Increased white blood cells (good for the immune system).
Increase “brown fat” and reduced “white fat” (overall will aid weight loss).
Speed up recovery from training and reduce inflammation.
Less studied and more subjective benefits would also seem to be:
Increased energy levels (seems to be working for me)
Aids mental toughness (day starts dealing with discomfort; which set the tone for the rest of the day).
The negatives I can find is that the “shock” to the system should be avoided by people with heart disease, high blood pressure and those with a fever. This is because the restricted blood vessels that result from the cold can be problematic for folks with those conditions.
While the showers are not pleasant in and of themselves, the effects on my mood, focus and energy levels are most welcome. Indeed, it’s already got to the point where I’m looking forward to them.
Training under waterfalls is well established karate experience / photo op. This picture is of myself and James Freeman practising Pinan Shodan under a waterfall in Canada (there’d been a lot of rain in the preceding days!). Remaining focused while overcoming the cold is something we don’t need a waterfall for though. If our home, gym or workplace has a shower, this is something we can do every day.
I also found out that in Ian Fleming had James Bond take the same kind of showers in the novels i.e. the last few minutes being cold. So, it’s pretty cool to start the day in the same way as James Bond :-)
As I say, I’m very new to this … but already I can’t see me stopping it as I’m feeling the (immediate) benefits and enjoying the process.
Anyone else a “fan” of cold showers? Against them for any particular reason (aside from the fact they suck)?
All the best,