I’ve heard about the benefits of taking cold showers for awhile. Years ago, I knew a massage therapist in NYC who told me I should alternate hot and cold water during my showers to give my body “a massage on the inside.” The theory being that it opens and closes the blood vessels, getting your blood pumping and ridding you of toxins. Or something like that.
A few months back, I was listening to Tony Robbins on the Tim Ferriss podcast and he talked about how every morning, he plunges into a shivery, 57-degree Fahrenheit pool. He believes “cold water immersion activates the body’s natural healing powers that can relieve the symptoms of many medical conditions and promote a sense of health and wellbeing. And when practiced on a regular basis, cold water immersion can even provide long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that enhance the overall quality of your life.” It’s apparently better for treating depression than meds and can boost your metabolism so you lose weight.
Yeah! All that sounds awesome. Sign me up, Tony!
Since I live in a Paris apartment that sadly doesn’t contain a cold-water plunge pool, I do the layman’s version, which is a shower. I take a regular warm-to-hot shower but at the end I switch off the hot water and stand under the cold water for a few minutes. I try to get all my parts equally icy before getting out of the shower. I must be some kind of masochist because mother-effer, it is painful, especially the first couple times you try it.
I hate the cold. I hate being cold. I’m always cold, anyway. Why on earth would I submit to this kind of torture? Because Tony is right. I feel incredible after. Energized and ready to take on the day, world, slut shamers. It’s better than a shot of espresso for waking me up and I think it’s exercising my willpower muscle. Afterwards, I find it easier to avoid time sucks like Facebook and Instagram as well as whatever Netflix series I’m currently gorging on. I’m all, LET’S DO THIS. Even if “this” is cleaning out the kitty litter.
It’s only been a week, but I think this is one life hack I’m sticking with. Some mornings (like today) are harder than others to blast myself with icy water on purpose, but I figure 60 seconds is better than nothing. Next step: joining the Polar Bear club, obviously.
Ready to try cold showers or are you thinking, hell, naw? If you’re brave enough to do it, tell us what happened!