I consider myself a lover of all things health and wellness. Working out and eating healthy has become as much of a part of my daily routine at this point as brushing my teeth or charging my phone.
I absolutely love trying out new wellness practices like ice rolling my face, taking a probiotic or adding spinach to my pancakes. Basically, if it says it’s good for me, I’ll do it.
But there’s just one thing I’ve struggled to do consistently, despite the countless studies, podcasts and articles touting its positive health benefits and ability to change my life.
I, like many others, have heard all about the supposedly magical powers that come from a mere 60-second icy rinse in the morning. Throughout my life I’ve been told that if I take a cold shower, I’ll have more energy, shiny hair, a stronger circulation immune system, increased mental toughness, a higher metabolic rate, increased and more. Since some of the most successful people in the world do it everyday, there must be something to it, right?
Scientifically-proven benefits of cold showers: According to the Cleveland Health Clinic, cold showers can:
- Increase circulation.
- Speed up your metabolism.
- Improve cancer survival.
- Boost your immune system.
- Relieve depression symptoms.
Although some experts are divided on whether these benefits are worth the pain of a cold shower, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want these benefits in their life. So I decided to give it a shot.
My strategy: I’ve tried my hand at taking cold showers in the past (usually giving up after a measly two days) but this time around I was serious.
Like any new habit or lifestyle change, I find the most success when I ease into it rather than going zero to 100 right away. The same goes for introducing cold showers.
I started out by doing a 20-second cold rinse at the end of my normal warm showers, slowly increasing my time as the weeks went on. I now can stand under the icy water for one minute, with an end goal of two minutes. I’m confident I’ll reach the two-minute mark by the end of the month given the progress I made these last two months.
My results: Sadly, I didn’t gain superpowers or transform into a successful millionaire. But, I have noticed four significant positive changes in my body, mental clarity and overall well-being since starting this self-imposed challenge:
- I have more energy. This is by far the biggest overall change I’ve seen in my life from my daily cold rinses. Going under the cold water for just 30 seconds wakes my entire body up and gives me a jolt of energy that has honestly become addicting. It sets me up for a great start to my day.
- I am more able to overcome stressful situations. By forcing myself to stand under cold water every morning despite my body yelling at me to crank it back to hot, I’ve increased my control over myself and difficult surroundings.
- My hair and skin have improved. While I already have pretty clear skin, I’ve noticed the exposure to cold water seems to have decreased the size of my pores, as well as made my hair appear healthier and shinier. Win win!
- I feel less bloated/sore. I do my cold rinses every morning after I work out and have noticed the arctic water helps me feel tighter and less inflamed post exercise. There’s actually something to this — motivational speaker Tony Robbins posted to his site that “exposure to cold temperatures constricts the blood vessels, which reduces swelling.”
Sixty seconds of discomfort for all these benefits? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Cold showers are now officially a part of my daily routine, and I think you should give them a try, too.