I realize that this article is a losing battle for probably 95% of those that were even willing to open it up after reading the title. I’ll be honest right off the bat: getting into cold showers is tough. Very tough. I’ve been partaking for over 9 months now, and I still cheat here and there with hot showers. Honesty aside, cold showers have 100% been worth it for me, and I’m going to tell you why.
Also, as a quick disclaimer. if there are any thoughts in your mind whatsoever that ice cold showers may be a health risk to you due to issues you may have, please consult a doctor before trying this challenge.
To keep your attention I’ll go right into benefits, because they are the convincing factors for giving cold showers a chance.
- Increase Circulation: If you don’t know why great blood circulation is vital for your body, let me impart some knowledge on you. Besides overall cardiovascular health, better circulation reduces your risk of heart disease, boosts mental performance and brain activity, and helps all of your organs function optimally.
- Skin and Hair Health: Hot showers feel amazing. I don’t have to convince anyone of that. However, they dry out your skin and hair. This can lead to an itchy and flaky scalp, or irritable skin that is prone to breakouts. Not only does cold water not dry out the skin and hair, but it closes cuticles and pores to promote healthier looking skin, as well as gives a nice shine to your hair. After a month I visibly noticed improvements to my skin and hair.
- Immune System Health: I’ll repeat, cold showers are tough. But due to this toughness our bodies are forced to respond. Our metabolic rate increases due to the body’s attempt to warm itself, which in turn activates our immune system and releases into our system more white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for fighting viruses, so cold showers can help you avoid getting sick in general.
If you’ve never heard of Wim Hof and his cold immersion technique, watch the following video (The WIM HOF “Iceman” Method – #NeverSick). To quickly say my favorite part, the man, after practicing cold immersion for years, was injected with viruses to try to see if he would succumb to sickness. His body naturally raised its adrenaline and fought off the disease with no medicine whatsoever. It’s a 24 minute video, but I promise it is well worth it.
- Men’s Health: For the influential gentleman, cold showers are an effective way to raise our testosterone. Increased testosterone not only raises our libido, but increases overall energy, strength and recovery. That means we can train harder and more efficiently at the gym, or just have more energy in general throughout our day.
For the gentlemen out there thinking of becoming fathers in the near future, cold showers also help with fertility. Sperm count decreases in hot temperatures, so keeping our sensitive area nice and cool is a great way to ensure our equipment functions properly when we need it. Don’t take my word for it, Harvard Health states that spending significant time in jot tubs, jacuzzis, or long baths can significantly impair sperm function. Even raising the temperature two to four degrees Fahrenheit negatively affects sperm and testosterone production.
- Mentality: Cold showers are hard, but beneficial. Constantly partaking in cold showers means you are voluntarily putting yourself through tough times in order to achieve something greater. This mentality translates to other parts of your life in two ways. First, when trials and tribulation comes in your life, you will be more prepared. Every day you go through hardship, so you are prepared in some capacity for difficulty, and able to stand firm when it occurs. Second, you are developing discipline. You understand that achieving something in life has a cost, or takes time. Discipline may carry over to your exercise routine, or your work life, as you know that staying on course leads to benefit in the long run.
It Gets Easier…
There is no sugar coating in this article. I promise you that. But the reality is that after a while of cold showers it does get easier. For me, even after two weeks I dreaded the cold shower less and less, and I started at the beginning of March when mornings were still pretty cold.
The key at first is to avoid craving the hot shower. Once you’ve gone a few weeks without the comfort of hot showers, a cold shower may not seem inviting, but you’re no longer thinking about the heat you could be in instead.
Your body, as I like to mention, is amazing, and will begin to adjust. That overwhelming feeling of not being able to breath as you plunge into cold water goes away, because your circulation improves as your body adapts to constant exposure to the cold. Eventually you will be able to step into the ice cold water without that initial shock.
I don’t expect anyone to walk into their shower the next morning, turn the temperature to ice cold, and hop in. Start slow. Get into your normal hot shower. Wash yourself and do your normal routine. Once your done, turn the shower to cool, not cold. Stay in that for 30 seconds to a minute. Then go colder. Repeat that until your last 15 seconds or so is as cold as it gets.
Each shower try to last a little longer in the cold. Maybe wash yourself during the cool stage. Everyone is going to have a different process and adjust at different rates. I tend to go into things fast and furiously so I did the “hot to cold” method for about a week before just going for ice cold. I would wash myself insanely fast and get out of there in about a minute. Now there are times where I stay in the shower for 10 minutes in the ice cold, taking my time and even enjoying it.
Accept the Challenge
Being an influential gentleman isn’t always about taking the easy route. I always try to come back to the idea of becoming the best version of yourself. Cold showers have kept me from being sick, give me more energy, and help me stay disciplined in other areas of my life. They also keep my hair and skin looking good! Therefore, cold showers have definitively made me a better version of myself.
I’d invite all of you to try it out. A couple weeks, a month, three months. Remember, you can technically quit at any time, so there is no risk. Hot showers will always be there for you. I told myself this every day, and like I said, I still have some “cheat days” where I give into a hot shower. It is December after all and I wake up to a house around 60 degrees.
That being said, if you commit like I did, I can guarantee you’ll see some benefits. With an adjustment that only affects a few minutes of each day, you can become a better version of yourself, which is what being an influential gentleman is all about. Even if it is only a slightly better version, isn’t that worth it?