Want to make a positive lifestyle change?
Take cold showers.
You heard me right. Take cold showers.
I stumbled upon this topic in a TED talk on YouTube and thought why not? I should try it myself. For about three months, I’ve taken cold showers, and cold showers only, and noticed benefits in my everyday life! I’ve continued my cold shower routine to this day and don’t plan on getting rid of them anytime soon either.
After doing some research, there were only a few scientific studies done, but all proved cold shower’s benefits. Also, if you go online and type in “cold showers” into any search engine, you’ll see multiple online personal testimonies that confirm cold shower’s positive effects!
Time to convince you to take cold showers!
Scientific Studies on Cold Showers
For some reason there aren’t too many studies done on the effects of cold showers. Weird, since many people, including myself, see many great life improvements from cold showers.
The best and most popular study using cold showers was done by a group of medical doctors from the Netherlands. Their main objective was to determine the effectiveness of routine hot to cold showers on sickness, quality of life, and work productivity.
- Those who incorporated cold shower intervals saw a 29% reduction in sick absences from work. This proves an increase in peoples’ immune systems resulting from cold showers.
- To put into perspective, this is somewhat equal to the benefits of routine physical activity on the immune system (35% reduction of absences).
- Duration of cold showers didn’t matter. 30, 60, or 90 second intervals saw small to nil differences in results.
- 64% of participants continued their cold shower routine after the study was completed.
- Most common reported benefit was a perceived increase in energy levels comparable to a caffeine boost.
History of Cold Water Bathing and Showers
Back in nomadic times, unless you lived near a hot spring or seasonal warm weather, a quick dip would have been chilly, if not freezing. The discovery of fire enabled people to begin heating things up (water included), but not necessarily for bathing purposes.
The fierce Spartans believed cold baths prepared men’s bodies and minds for battle. Ancient Rome was one of the first civilizations to incorporate hot baths into their extravagant bath houses (pictured below).
Many early historians believed that hot bathes made the Roman people weak and were one of the reasons behind the collapse of the mighty Roman empire!
Fast forward to the early 19th century, the first shower anonymously invented was the English Regency Shower but was only found in homes with deep pockets, and these showers were usually still cold. The hot shower/bath rage didn’t begin until the invention and modification of the residential water heater in the early 1900s. For the next century, water heaters became the norm in the construction of homes, allowing everyone to enjoy hot water!
Cold baths and showers haven’t returned since.
My 3 Month Experiment
Cold showers aren’t easy. The trick is to start your shower at a medium, maintainable temperature, then slowly work your way down to cooler temperatures. When your adrenaline starts flowing (as if a caffeine boost kicked in), you know you hit the sweet spot! Stop there.
Cold showers wake you up much quicker than any cup of coffee, shot of espresso, or energy drink ever will. Since introducing cold showers into my daily routine, I’ve noticed that I’m wide awake and never tired throughout the day!
Also, my hair and skin seem to be less dry. I used to get dehydrated, flaky skin from hot showers, but cold showers got rid of this completely!
Best of all, you start your day with a win. Cold showers improve your mental toughness and discipline. It somewhat has the same effect as making your bed every morning, but making your bed is easier and doesn’t have any mental barriers to break besides deciding to do it. Cold showers take mental strength to stay in an uncomfortable environment! Every morning you wake up, conquer cold showers, and have a motivated feeling as if nothing can stop you. You really can’t ask for a better start to your day.
Hope this was an interesting blog post! Everyone should at least try cold showers, not once, not for a week, but for a month to see benefits. If you’ve missed last week’s post on the pros and cons of living in a big, metropolitan city, then check it out here! Don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life.”
Book of the Month: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” by Mark Manson