If you’ve ever heard someone talk about taking a cold shower first thing in the morning, you probably thought they were crazy – and you’re not too far off.
You DO have to be a little crazy, bold, and courageous to hop into that icy water every single morning – and that’s part of why I do it, every single day.
It’s a challenge. Plenty of things in life are hard and require discipline: getting up every morning for work, exercising to stay healthy, eating well, and pursuing your dreams. These are small little challenges that often require the most effort and discipline to start, but once you get going it’s not so bad, just like a cold shower.
If you can hop in that cold shower fearlessly, it can help push you towards these goals by confirming every day that you can do something challenging that you might not enjoy doing but will do it anyways.
Benefits of Cold Showers for Men
This mental benefit is the main reason that I take cold showers, alongside it here are my other reasons (including some real health benefits).
- It’s better for your hair and skin than a hot shower – hot showers dry out your skin and hair, and also this cold shower won’t fog up your mirrors so you can check yourself out immediately after finishing your shower.
- It gets you insanely alert and ready for the day, ever been woken up with water thrown on you? Yeah it’s kind of like that. Before I was taking cold showers regularly, if I had been studying up all night for an exam I would take a cold shower before heading to the lecture hall to take the test – it worked for me.
- You can reduce inflammation, and potentially recover faster. If you’re hitting the gym hard, doing compound movements and pushing the limits then your body will appreciate an icy shower to reduce inflammation and also improve circulation which can both improve your recovery.
- Studies have shown cold showers can help treat depression – which I can fully get on board with. For me at least, a large part of depression is feeling helpless in a situation. Taking a cold shower is taking care of hygiene, you’re accomplishing something hard, and it also is something unique you’re doing that you can talk about – all of which I believe help with depression. The challenge there lies with starting to take cold showers.
- It can boost your immune system – researchers state that the temperature change increases the body’s metabolic rate to warm the body up, and boosts your white cell count as if preparing to defend the body.
- And one final reason, which is possibly why a lot of males end up looking to cold showers is the promise of increased testosterone. You might think a cold shower would douse any signs of arousal, but think more long-term rather than so immediate. A study done in 1993 by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England found that cold showers increased testosterone in males. And testosterone is responsible for motivation, strength, and overall well being in males. It increases your libido, sex drive, and even can aid in improving your physique combined with exercise – “feel young again take a cold shower”.
- Increase testosterone can also lead to increase fertility, for those men trying to pop a little one out better get in that cold shower!
How to Start Taking Cold Showers
Warning: I am not a medical doctor and if you have any heart conditions you should not take cold showers without consulting your doctor, the temperature shock can be dangerous.
Really, I just hopped in. I turned it cold and went in. In the beginning I would turn it about half way between hot and cold so when I jump in it’s freezing for about 15 seconds then it ends up at a cool temperature that’s very manageable.
I’ve heard other methods of starting it at warm, and turning it to cool for the last bit of the shower which certainly can get you used to it, but I think just hopping right into the cold shower for as long as you can last (aka slap some soap under your pits and get the hell out) is the best way to go.
Try it out and see if it works for you. All of the studies and blog posts are great but if you can’t get in there every morning and do it consistently it won’t work for you. See how long you can stick with it for and what kind of results it gives you. I personally didn’t do it for any of the medical benefits but it’s nice to know they are there. My main driver was how bold and courageous it makes me feel and what a great start to the day conquering the cold shower demon is.
So what are you waiting for? Crank that shower dial all the way to the right and hop in!