What I Learned From 45 Days Of Ice Cold Showers (Including 11 Benefits)
I just got out of the most beautiful shower I have ever experienced, it was hot and warmed my soul on a level it has not been warmed for 45 days. I just left the jungle after being there for 28 days, prior to this I spent 17 days in accommodation which only had cold showers- it only dawned on me a few days ago that this may have effects that go further than me just being cold during washing .
Paul Chek, Wim Hof and Tim Ferriss are just 3 of the well known figures who tout the benefits of cold showers:
Paul Chek said in one of his posts: “Cold showers offer the body a dose of yin (female) energy. This is essential because water and water energies are used to counterbalance fire, or energy produced by metabolism, chemical reactions, thinking, and inflammation in the body”
Some of the points I raise will cite studies others are just claims I will make clear in the article which are which and provide links should you want to investigate further:
Jumping in a cold shower definitely tests your mind, after 45 days I have to say bar a few showers when I was incredibly overheated- it was never much fun. It helps build your willpower and to just do something regardless of if it is pleasant or not, in the name of good health and hygiene.
It allows you to focus and maintain focused for the day, this is impart due to the fact that to have a cold shower you really need to centre yourself through breathwork. Think of it like ice cold meditation. Another more obvious reason is it is hard to not be alert after having cold water tipped on your head!
Wakes You Up
There is no pick me up in the world quite like that of a cold shower, it is not as convenient as a quick shot of espresso, but your body will thank you later, plus the energy levels are far more healthy and sustainable.
I could not find any studies, but their are many people and sources online claiming that one of the side effects of cold showers is an improvement in the strength of their hair.
Helps Combat Depression
Depression is a debilitating disease that affects approximately 10% of the population, and while I know jumping in an ice cold shower is probably the last thing you want to do when it strikes, it still according to this study is highly beneficial. Cold showers stimulate a part of the brain known as “the blue spot”. This is the brains primary source of noradrenaline – which plays an active role in combating depression.
Helps With Weight Loss
There are 2 types of fat in the body- white and brown fat- brown fat is the stuff we want to promote for optimal health.
According to this study cold showers help to activate brown fat, which results in an increase in the calories your body burns. The study showed that- cold temperatures can show an increase of up to 15X the normal amount.
Dopamine is a feel good chemical in the brain Which reduces stress and improves your mental state in the right quantity a recent study showed that cold water therapy can increase your dopamine by up to 530%.
Strengthens Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a group of vessels running throughout your body that helps to remove waste and bacteria. Your lymphatic system is like your bodies own personal cleansing system. A 2014 study found “Repeated cold water stimulations reduced frequency of infections; increased peak expiratory flow, lymphocyte counts, and expression of gamma-interferon; modulated interleukin expression; and improved quality of life (QOL) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
Improved Immune System
Our immune system is what keeps us fighting off all kinds of nasties that are trying to take away our life force- according to a 1996 study– “stress-inducing noninfectious stimuli, such as repeated cold water immersions, which increased metabolic rate due to shivering the elevated blood concentrations of catecholamines, activated the immune system to a slight extent.”
Strengthens Your Sympathetic Nervous System
Wim Hof- who is also known as the iceman is a Dutch world record holder who is known for his ability to resist cold. But he doesn’t only do it for the records, he has devises a system that can be used for training yourself to do the same. Along with improvement shown in the immune system, his method has also been shown to strengthen the sympathetic nervous system.
In 2015 3018 healthy participants took part in a study which included a hot to cold shower for 30 consecutive days- the study showed “a 29% reduction in sickness absence for (hot-to-) cold shower regimen”
I have had a dig around and found some incredible benefits that occur as a result of cold showers and cold therapy, next I want to share an intimate moment with you below in the jungle shower- no nudity I promise, but a monkey does decide to join me (no joke):