This is a guest post by Lisa Green of Gym Person where she is showing people how they can work out at home and build their own home gym with minimum budget.
The idea of taking a cold shower might seem unconventional, and to be honest, some people may even see this as a bit insane. Why on earth would you prefer to take a cold shower when a warm shower feels so much better?
In the past, people used to look at such people who prefer the cold as weirdos, but these days there is more and more evidence that suggest that cold showers have so many benefits.
People like Wim Hof, who have been featured on the BBC, National Geographic and other places have advocated cold showers for years. Tim Ferriss talked about his experience with cold showers in his books.
I can personally attest to the benefits of cold showers as I have been taking cold showers for the past year and it definitely influenced me in so many ways.
Here are five reasons how taking cold showers can make you more successful:
1. More energy and better focus.
A day should start with high energy if you really want to have a good, productive day.
People do many things to get themselves going in the morning. Some have a cup of coffee. There are others who’d rather just take a shower, but herein lies the problem.
Most people take a nice, steamy shower. I know this feels good, but it may not be the best thing to do for a successful morning.
Warm showers actually help the brain produce melatonin, which is a neurotransmitter that the body produces when the temperature drops; this leads to drowsiness, great before bed, but not something you would want to begin your day with.
What you want to do is shock the body into full inner-core heating, which you can do by taking () a cold shower. The body wants to stay warm, and the shock of the cold water puts it in hyper mode.
The energy comes from an increased blood flow as well as the release of epinephrine which is your body’s natural ‘energy drug’ it also helps you to focus more on the stuff you need to accomplish.
2. Makes you more resilient.
Let’s be honest, cold showers aren’t fun but neither does running a marathon (trust me, I know firsthand).
But it’s the feeling afterward that makes all it worth it!
These types of activities build resilience which is the perhaps the most important ingredient to success in any type of business and especially in competitive markets.
You don’t need that resilience to start, but when things get tough, and they always do, that’s what when most people quit and resilient people just keep going.
These several minutes you’ll spend under the cold water will build up the resilience that will spill over to other areas in your life.
3. Have better memory.
Cold showers can also improve your memory.
One study showed that a person’s overall alertness and memory retention is improved after introducing the body to cold water therapy for four months.
Some of the benefit stems from the body’s ability to clear out toxins and waste from the body, including the brain. This means that there will be more room for nutrients throughout the body, including the brain, which could explain this improvement. This should help you on your journey to success and help you retain more important at a time.
4. Be happier.
We know that a happy employee or entrepreneur can accomplish more than a depressed one, and a cold shower can help wash away negative feelings.
In fact, research published on the American Academy of Family Physician found that even minor levels of depression can kill productivity.
Better mood helps a person think a little more clearly because he or she will not be plagued with worries or thoughts of possible failure. In short, heading out to work should be more productive if you have positive thoughts on your mind, which a cold shower can help with.
One study found that exposing yourself to cold temperatures could stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This is mostly because the body needs to reestablish your mood and invigorate. The body shoots beta-endorphins and noradrenaline through the blood system, which can make a person feel happier.
These feelings are strong enough to last throughout the day, but you now hold the key to feeling good again if you need an extra push later in the day.
5. Less sick days.
If there’s one thing that absolutely kills productivity, it is sick lying in bed. The good news is that cold showers are here to help.
It’s a paradox as people associate cold with getting cold but not as far as cold showers go, they can actually keep you healthier and less sick.
When you take a cold shower, your body’s metabolic rate increases as your body is fighting back the cold by warming itself. The increased blood pumps freely through the body, all the regions that might be injured or sore should heal a lot faster. This process increases your white blood cells which are crucial for fighting viruses and bacteria.
In short, why lose valuable time in bed when you can use this time to pursue your career goals.
Combine Exercise to Get Even More Benefits
This is optional but it works wonder for me and may work for you too.
Mediating, what’s meditating has got to do with cold showers? Well, I found out that it is much easier for me to mediate right after taking a cold shower than any other time of day. Even if I wait just couple of few minutes later I am procrastinating it and don’t do it.
There’s a great relieving feeling right after the cold shower, a kind of lightness that’s hard to describe. I feel that the best time to complement that relaxation by following with a short meditation.
After the shower, just grab a towel lightly dry yourself and sit cross-legged on the floor for a couple of minutes.
If you have a favorite type of meditation go for it or you could just do deep breaths for a couple of minutes. I personally do deep breaths as in the Wim Hof method.
A few minutes after the shower and the meditation, I also like to do a couple of burpees to get some more blood flowing throw the body, not rigorous workout, just like 5-10 reps. Don’t worry you won’t sweat, your body will still be trying to warm itself.
Don’t go fancy, start just with the cold showers, get used to them first, then if you feel comfortable you could add the deep breaths afterwards and some kind of short physical activity like jumping jacks or burpees to get things going.
Cold showers are not for everyone.
If you suffer from any medical condition, heart problems, are pregnant or lactating, have had any medical issues or anything always talk with your doctor first and have their consent.
Cold showers can be stressful on your body, especially at first. If you want to start taking cold showers you should doing so gradually to help your body adapt to the initial stress, like just finishing off with 30 seconds of cold, gradually increasing the duration.
Over to you now. Have you tried taking a cold shoer daily? How did it feel?