Showering is a part of most of our daily routines. Perhaps it’s the first thing you do after waking up, making sure the water is warmed up to that perfect temperature before stepping in. You wouldn’t dare step into a shower sub 100 degrees, right? Well, here are three reasons that may change your mind to take a deep breath, and turn the nozzle in the opposite direction.
1. Stimulate Your Body to Fight Disease
There have been great advancements to keep humans at a comfortable temperature. Most homes and buildings have a thermostat to keep us at the optimal and comfy 68-72 degree range. Our cars are equipped with automatic climate systems to counter any radical temperatures that may come our way. But some say this has made us “soft” and weaker as a species. Just think of our ancestors before us who lived a more primal life and had to utilize their parasympathetic nervous system to regulate their body temperature to sleep through a cold night. Experiencing colder temperatures—cold enough to initiate a shock response—has shown to stimulate your body to release more melatonin, which in turn can promote brain health and fight against cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s (Howard, 2015). So challenge yourself and make it a cold one.
2. Increase Your Alertness
If you take morning showers, maybe you do it to help wake you up. But do you ever feel even more lethargic and ready to hit the sack after a hot shower? I would recommend starting at your normal temperature, but at the end of your shower ease into the cold water. Every fiber of your being will scream at you “What are you doing?!” But just breathe through it. You will be training your parasympathetic nervous system, which is counteracting the body’s natural “flight” response (activated by your nervous system). With the deep breathing you will ease the shock and keep warm, increasing the body’s oxygen uptake. Heart rate increases as blood flow accelerates through your entire body. It’s invigorating, and you’ll be ready to start your day (Borreli, 2014).
3. Challenge Yourself to Take Life Head-on
Life; it can be difficult. The struggle is real. Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” An entire book was written on this quote, Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. According to Tracy, when you get the dreaded things out of the way first, it will give you more momentum for the rest of the day. When you prioritize the hardest things first, you can go through your day and be more productive and fulfilled. A cold shower in the morning is not easy to do, but it will surely get your day started on the right foot. We are at our best when we can tackle our challenges bravely and confidently. It’s definitely not going to be comfortable, but some of the best things can happen when we step out of our comfort zone (Richards, 2016).
Borreli, Lizette (2014). Benefits of Cold Showers: 7 Reasons Why Taking Cold Showers is Good For Your Health. Medical Daily. http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-cold- showers-7- reasons-why- taking-cool-showers-good- your-health- 289524
Howard, Clark (2015). Sleeping in a cold room may be better for your health. http://clark.com/health-health-care/research- sleeping-in- cold-room- better-for- health/
Richards, Carl (2016). Benefits of Getting an Icy Start to the Day. New York Times.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/business/the-benefits- of-getting- an-icy- start-to- the-day.html?_r=0
About the Author
Sam Skelton is a proud husband and father to two young boys. When his boys aren’t accelerating his grey hair growth at the temples, Sam enjoys playing guitar, surfing, and woodworking. He and his wife are celebrating their 10 year anniversary in June, and plan on getting away from their kids for four nights. Sam believes in the power and life-giving benefits of cold plunges. He does, however, surf in a wetsuit.