“The Cold is Your Friend.” -Wim Hof
(Endorphins, Dopamine, Immune System, Inflammation, Circulation, Energy)
“Cold showers? Say what?”
This did not sound appealing to me either when I first heard about this.
Taking a cold shower as part of your routine gets easy and actually enjoyable.
Top 9 Cold Shower Benefits:
- Immune System
- Natural Energy
- Mood Boost
- Weight Loss
Why Cold Showers?
As these become your routine, you’ll notice yourself looking forward to taking them.
Because they feel good.
How can a cold shower feel good?
Upon hearing this crazy Dutchman, Wim Hof, aka “The Ice Man,” talk about this in his “Wim Hof Method”, I became intrigued.
“Exposing your body to acute cold conditions, such as taking a cold shower or splashing cold water on your face, increases the stimulation of the vagus nerve. While your body adjusts to the cold, sympathetic activity declines, while parasympathetic activity increases.”
This moves us out of our fight-or-flight fear and stress-based existence and into one of calm and tranquility.
With a mere 2 minute cold shower, we can activate dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
Cold exposure can also activate our endorphin system, which we also link with mood and cognitive support.
And more endorphins can significantly stimulate our immune system and lower inflammation.
Researchers are testing the effects of endorphin activating LDN, or low dose naltrexone on autoimmune diseases, autoimmune thyroid diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myalgic encephalopathy, and various cancers.
Science shows us 10 minutes of cold exposure activates brown adipose tissue, (BAT), or “brown fat”, increasing thermogenesis and the bodies metabolic rate which generates energy by burning calories, while influencing weight loss.
Others use cold showers to tap into their natural energy source, whereas others take cold showers 90–120 minutes before bed to enhance deeper sleep.
For metabolic issues such as cardiovascular health, cold therapy can be useful, while being fast and cost-effective.
Doing a cold shower becomes easy and enjoyable to do.
Just like intermittent fasting, cold showers become rather easy with a few tricks.
Top 9 Secrets to Making Cold Showers Easy
“The cold is your friend. Breathe and believe.”
- The most important mindset when approaching the shower is knowing your body will adjust to the cold and warm up.
2. Start showering in neutral temperature water. You can also start off with a warm shower and lather and rinse.
3. Take cold showers after exercise, when your dopamine activity is higher making you less cold-sensitive.
4. Start with hot and gradually go to cold and then go back to hot again. This gives you a built-in reward or “cookie” to look forward to, which is how our brains work.
5. Once your body gets used to this temperature, step away and turn the temperature to cold, while leaving your head only below the water. Allow your body to adjust, and it will in a few seconds. Remember to breathe.
6. Allow the water to hit your chest. Keep breathing. In another few seconds, your body will adjust.
7. Yelling allows your mind to maintain this “illusion of control”, such as a primal scream of YES or YEAH. You can even bang on your hips or chest in a primal shout.
8. Remember the fear of the cold is only in your head. Your body always adjusts and accepting this, makes this easy, allowing you to enjoy this daily practice.
9. You can start with 30-second showers and slowly increasing the time and/or you could start off by doing them at less than 100% cold.
Those with compromised immune systems or those experiencing a current active infection should avoid cold exposure. Similarly, individuals with dangerous cardiovascular disease are typically warned against cold exposure.
Beyond the immense health benefits, this is an exercise in flexing your willpower and confidence which will directly impact your self-esteem.
I cannot recommend cold showers enough. Just do it. Seriously, you really should.
Read more on unlocking your endorphin system.
So what do say?
Will you give it a try?
Your Friend in Health,