The moment you all have been waiting for. The cold shower update is here! I have officially been incorporating cold showers into my routine for 3 weeks. I will go ahead and say that it will make a permanent place in my wellness routine. That is until winter rolls around again… but, hey, maybe I’ll be a seasoned professional by that point. A few weeks ago, when I first posted about cold showers, the enthusiasm was there, but the positive effects had not caught up with me yet. Also, when I first started, I could barely stay under the water for 5-10 seconds at a time. It literally took my breath away. That is not the case anymore.
After 3 weeks, and progressively pushing myself a little bit more, I am now able to take a full-on cold shower. Thats right! Soap, shampoo, conditioner and all. It is so invigorating and I actually look forward to it. Am I crazy?!? Maybe, actually. But I also encourage anyone who is curious about it to try it out (please talk to your doctor about it if you have any health conditions!). It has been so great to push myself a little bit more each day. I have been able to get my breathing regulated, and then push a little bit more. This has been such a great lesson in handling discomfort in small and manageable doses. It has also been teaching my nervous system that I am capable of managing minor stresses, physical and mental.
The physical and physiological benefits have been a bit harder to quantify. As mentioned before, cold showers or cold plunges have been shown to increase metabolism, increase immune function, improve hair and skin, and make you more resilient to the daily stresses of life. I can’t speak for immune function, per say, but everything else has been spot on. I have not been sick over the last 3 weeks, but I also only catch a cold about once a year. The biggest benefit of all though as been the psychological side of things. Trying something hard and succeeding is such a good feeling. Knowing that I can push beyond my comfort zone has been beyond gratifying.
Over the next couple weeks I am going to start the beginner breathing exercises taught by Wim Hof. These breathing techniques are said to put your body in a temporary alkaline state and help you to overcome physical, mental, or psychological challenges. Here is to more experiments to bring us a better understanding of how our bodies and minds work! Want to join me?