Quick update as of 4 January 2017: I’ve been taking cold showers for close to 500 days now. It continues to positively impact my mental alertness, health and well-being. I have no current plans to stop.
I’ve been taking cold showers lately, after watching the video below from the Art of Manliness.
It began as a practice of voluntary simplicity*. But what was meant to last a few days has now transpired into eight weeks.
I still have commitment issues every morning. But I haven’t caved yet**.
The shock to your body feels just as real on Day 56 as it did on Day 1. While the chilling sensation hasn’t improved, to some degree, you do become more mentally prepared for the experience. Other than toughening up, I have only resorted to modifying my approach to somewhat help soften the blow.
My current approach:
- Dip my head in first and apply shampoo;
- Follow by toes and feet;
- Work my way up to ass cheek;
- Then immerse the entire body, starting with usually the back, then chest (which I found to be the most sensitive).
For me, this is the path of least resistance. On the good days, I also manage to brush my teeth while doing a few squats to not freeze.
Warm & fuzzy
Conditioning my mind and body to kick off the day in the right state was my initial goal. The state you wake up to in the morning carries with you throughout your entire day.
Prior to the experiment, I’d often wake up feeling drained or unmotivated and this attitude often manifests itself in my actions and decisions for the remainder of the day. I thought what better way than to commit to a daily ice bucket challenge? So far, it has paid huge dividends in improving my mental state and physiology***.
I have no current plans to stop taking cold showers.
* Voluntary poverty is the practice of getting the most out of the least, and eliminating artificial needs in life. For a collection of bite-sized philosophies on simple living, suggest Less Is More: The Art of Voluntary Poverty – An Anthology of Ancient and Modern Voices in Praise of Simplicity by Goldian Vandenbroeck.
** In full disclosure, I did cheat once when I crashed my girlfriend’s hot bath. She was not warm to the idea of a cold bath.
***In the past, I’ve always been more prone to the cold than the average person. As a bonus, taking cold showers have modulated my body to cope better in cooler climates, allowing me to go without a sweater for longer.