If your not motivated by feeling better, then be motivated by looking better.
One of the best ways to improve your skin (and hair) is by taking cold showers. Plus it’s free!
According to certified Dermatologist Jessica Krant, ice cold water can help our skin by preventing it from losing too many natural oils. And your hair gets the same benefit.
Along with that, one of the benefits of cold showers is how they will help your hair appear shiny, strong & healthy by keeping the follicles flat and increasing their grip to the scalp. This is great news for any of you guys who are scared of losing your hair!
Another way cold showers will make you look better, is by promoting fat loss.
Most people don’t know this, but there are two types of fat in your body. Brown fat & white fat. White fat is bad. It’s the body fat that we all hate so much. Brown fat is good. It’s function is to generate heat and keep your body warm.
When you take a cold shower, brown fat is activated, resulting in an increase in energy and calories burned to keep your body warm. So much so that according to this study, cold temperatures can increase brown fat by 15X the normal amount, which can result in 9 pounds of weight loss per year.
Tim Ferris is also noted in his book, The Four Hour Body, that taking ice baths was an amazing way to promote weight loss. The next level for any cold shower veterans.
One of the coolest benefits of cold showers, for men, is that they will cause a rise in testosterone levels.
How much is hard to say, but according to this study, heat (even in small amounts) has an effect on our DNA, RNA & protein synthesis in the male testes. Fun fact: This is why our balls hang outside of our body, to stay cool. This study backs this, showing that just 15 minutes of increased heat in rat testes showed a big drop in testosterone.
All that, and the fact that Russian weightlifters used to sit out in the cold before competitions, leads me to believe there is something to this cold shower and testosterone theory.
Another interesting benefit of cold showers is that they will boost your sperm count and increase fertility.
Taking hot baths has been proven to be an effective male contraceptive. Men who took a half hour hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were rendered infertile for the next 6 months!
On top of that, a study at USCF showed that men who stopped taking regular hot baths showed a sperm count increase of up to 491%.
While a hot shower won’t be as devastating on your sperm, it will have an effect. Remember, those testes want to be nice and cool, so if your trying to conceive – do them a favor and opt for cold showers.
How to Increase Your Sperm Count: 50 Ways
And if you’re not motivated by feeling better, or looking better, then be motivated by being healthier.
Cold showers improve circulation by means of sending blood down to your organs to keep them warm. This stimulation of the circulatory system is great for your overall cardiovascular health.
One of the most important benefits of cold showers is the fact that they increase your immunity.
A study from England showed that taking regular cold showers increases the amount of disease fighting white blood cells, compared to that of those who take regular hot showers. The hypothesis was that the boys attempted to warm it’s self during the cold shower, resulting in an increase in the metabolic speed rate and activation of the immune system. This then leads to the release of more white blood cells.
On top of that, remember back to point #2 and how the cold water swimmers bodies were more adaptive to oxidative stress. (A.K.A, their bodies can take a hit)
An additional, yet crucial, part of the body that is affected by cold showers is the lymphatic system. What the lymphatic system does is help carry out waste from your cells. This is key in defending your body from unwanted infections. And when the lymphatic system is blocked, it will show up in symptoms such as frequent colds, infections and joint pain.
Cold showers, when alternated between hot and cold water will help your lymphatic system, by contracting the lymph vessels when exposed to the cold and relaxing them when exposed to the heat. This essentially pumps the fluid that may have stagnated in your lymph vessels out, resulting in a stronger immune system and healthier you.
Learn more about this process below.
If you’re an athlete than you know that taking an ice bath after intense training is one of the best things you can do to recover faster. (A 2009 study confirms this)
But you don’t need a high tech training facility with cold water submersibles to be able to achieve these benefits. Just take a cold shower.
Although it won’t be as effective as a fully submersed ice bath, it will improve circulation, and help remove some lactic acid. Try alternating between very hot and very cold to let the blood come and go to the surface. Your muscles will thank you.
One of the most noted benefits of taking cold showers is that they offer relief for symptoms of depression.
Cold showers stimulate what is known as “the blue spot,” which is the brains primary source of noradrenaline – a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression.
Plus the mild electroshock delivered to the brain by the cold shower (you’ll know exactly what I mean) sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect. There is a high density of cold receptors in the skin, much more than there are for registering warmth.
And according to this study, it’s not all just hearsay.
At the end of every shower, I like to just let that cold water blast me on the top of the head for as long as I can take it. Talk about brain freeze.
Obviously, an ice cold shower is going to get your ass up in the morning. We already talked about how they will scientifically increase your alertness, but science aside – if you have trouble getting up and pumped for the day, cold showers will change this.
Ironically, while cold showers wake you up in the AM, cold therapy is one of the best ways to get an incredible nights sleep.
Tim Ferris talks about cold therapy in The Four Hour Body, by taking a 10 minute ice bath. And I quote him:[quote]The result: it’s like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer, even if the melatonin is omitted. Don’t expect it to be pleasant at first.[/quote]
I agree with Tim’s findings. A cold shower at night puts me straight to bed.
This is a relief for many. You can start your shower off hot, and enjoy it. But for the last 3 minutes it must be cold! As cold as it goes!
This is still a task.
Okay, so you know by now that cold showers are awesome. Great.
Now good luck waking up tomorrow morning and taking one (regardless of how amped up you are now).
It’s hard to take the plunge.
So I think some words of encouragement are in order.
First: As Phil Drolet, of TheFeelGoodLifestyle says:[quote]What would the best version of you do?[/quote]
No one else is gonna push you into that shower (unless you have an asshole older brother). You just have to take the plunge. And every time you do it, it will get easier. If you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to step outside your comfort zone.
Second: As Michael Anderson, Author of The Experiment says:[quote]Turn it into an experiment[/quote]
The thought of taking cold showers every day for the rest of your life is daunting. Like making any other lifestyle change that your mind perceives as permanent. But Michael Anderson helps people overcome this daunting feeling, by having his clients turn things like this into an experiment.
So here’s your experiment.
All you have to do, is take a cold shower tomorrow morning, and see how you feel. You can start hot, but end cold, for at least 1 minute. Then see how you feel. If you liked it, then do it again the next day and see how two days in a row made you feel.
It’s just an experiment, not a permanent life change.
Third: My advice
– Write down on a whiteboard or pad: Cold Showers
– Now make 30 boxes, one for each day
– Commit now to checking those 30 boxes off
– After the 30 days, you can decide to keep going or not. (I bet you’ll keep going)
But whatever you do, don’t be too serious about it and have fun. If it’s gonna stress you out, then it’s not worth it. This is supposed to improve your life, not scare you to death.
Are you man enough to take a cold shower?! Let us know if you took the plunge, and how it went, in the comment section below!