Can Cold Showers Improve Your Health?
When I first quit drinking, a friend suggested a book, The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. This book was a game-changer and the stepping stone into the deep dive of my self-development rituals. In the book, Hal shares the benefits of a morning routine that includes: prayer/meditation, journaling, saying affirmations, visualizing, exercise, and reading.
Hal also has a podcast that I listen to regularly called Achieve Your Goals. About a year ago, episode #270, Hal had on a guest named Jesse Harless. In the episode, Jesse talked about the release of his book, Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers. My first reaction was, “Heck no!” Being cold is not my idea of fun.
As I’m listening to Jesse talk about the benefits of cold water therapy, in this case, cold showers, I was intrigued. He explained as a recovering addict, he found that hydrotherapy is exceptionally beneficial for so many areas of our lives.
I listened with close intent.
I had to know more.
You’ll never find success until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
So, can cold showers improve your health?
Hal’s book taught me the benefits of establishing a good morning routine, but taking cold showers was not on my radar until I heard Jesse. In his book, Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers, he suggests starting off slowly. The important thing to remember is to END your shower with cold water. I took his advice.
Taking the plunge
I started with just 20 seconds on a temperature I would describe as “moderately chilly.” As the week continued, I turned the knob farther to the right, making the water colder and colder. I eventually made it up to a solid 5 minutes! I’ve yet to make the entire length of my shower, but I’m still ending with ice-cold water. One thing is for sure; it’s invigorating!
Other types of cold therapy include full submersion ice baths and cryotherapy. As a prime example, Tony Robbins starts his day by entering a cold plunge pool at a brisk 57 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just one part of his daily routine, and who can argue with Anthony Robbins? Not this girl.
Now that I piqued your curiosity let’s look at the benefits and why you might want to consider trying this yourself.
Cold Shower Benefits
- Increase energy levels – cold water activates sensors under our skin, increases our adrenaline that boosts our energy. It invigorates us by contracting our small blood vessels, therefore creating more oxygen in our bodies.
- Improves mood, helps depression lessen. Coldwater therapy activates our sympathetic nervous system, helping with symptoms of depression quickly.+ (see below for resource).
- Improves circulation, decreases inflammation. The cold reduces the blood vessels and helps numb the nerve ending, relieving pain while increasing circulation.
- Healthy hair and skin – improves the appearance by shrinking pore size, stimulates hair follicles.
- Better sex, increase hormones. Taking cold showing will increase testosterone and estrogen levels, heightening your pleasure center.
- Lymphatic cleansing – your body needs to cleanse itself by removing toxins, waste, and bacteria in order to stay healthy. Taking cold showers helps to “exercise” your lymphatic system.
- Reduce excess weight. Coldwater helps increase the body’s metabolic rate, therefore shedding excess weight. This is paired with consistent exercise and healthy eating choices.
- Helps to fight addiction. The cold water increases levels of beta-endorphin that binds to receptors similar to opioids. This promotes homeostasis, reduces stress, and provides a sense of reward. With continual daily practice, this reduces anxiety, while increasing mood-elevating receptors.
- Improves mental toughness. Jumping into a lake with a temperate of 47 degrees Fahrenheit takes extreme preparation of the conditioning of the mind. As a fan of Wim Hof, he teaches breathing exercises and mental preparation for cold therapy exercises. The resource can be found at the bottom of this blog.++
As I continued my research into the benefits of cold showers, I was pleasantly surprised to learn many high-level performers incorporate a daily routine of cold water therapy. If they can do it, so can you. Just remember to start slowly, with a gradual increase in time and colder temperatures.
I’ve personally noticed an increase in energy, my work-out performance is on point, my mood is consistently upbeat, and my overall health is fantastic. It has also helped me feel unstoppable as if I could take on the world!
Will you try cold water therapy?
My clients are encouraged to incorporate cold water therapy into their daily routines and have reported similar successes. Many are using numbing aids to cope with their daily stress, so by introducing cold showers, they can reap the rewards as mentioned above. It’s a free and easy tool to use, and it works.
With so many benefits, will you consider trying cold showers? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
For more information on Jesse’s and Hal’s books, click here.
+Resource – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17993252/
++ Wim Hof – https://www.wimhofmethod.com/
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes and not meant to be used as a diagnosis or treatment recommendation. Please seek medical advice before implementing cold therapy or reducing any medications or changing any health habits. The author is not liable for action taken by the reader based upon the above information.