Strange things become popular, out of no where, for no apparent reason.
I’m talking about things like pokemon, wearing jeans around your ankles, right-wing politicians and most recently cold showers.
I was tasked take a cold shower on New Years day as part of a 12 Day Christmas Challenge.
I decided to take it one further and do it for the full 31 days of January.
January is shit enough as it is, why not make it a whole lot worse eh?
Actually, there appear to be lots of benefits to cold showers. I consulted the Bro’s favourite cold shower exponent, the WimHof Method website to see what they were.
Benefits of Cold Showers
According the Wim Hof these benefits are;
- Reduce Stress Levels
- Higher Level of Alertness
- More Robust Immune System
- Increased Willpower
- Weight loss.
I kind of get the reduce stress levels and will power thing. I’ve read about the ability for sea dips and ice swimming to help mental health in the past.
And I suppose, to do regular cold shower or see dips obviously takes some willpower.
The other stuff though seemed a bit woo woo to me.
How can taking a cold shower boost your immune system and help you lose weight?
I thought I’d put it to the test.
So I took cold showers for 31 days during January and here’s what I learnt.
What I Learnt
Aside from freezing my conquers off, here’s what I learnt;
- I recaptured a large part of my morning.
- I was cold all day afterwards
- It didn’t get easier the longer I did it.
- Once I had a cold shower, I knew the worse part of my day was over with.
- I had a sense of pride that I stuck with it for so long.
I Recaptured a Large Part of my Morning.
Bit of weird one I know. But this is the biggest benefit that I saw.
But I’m one of those odd people that takes ages in the shower, much to the annoyance of my wife.
By taking a cold shower, I was in and out in a couple of minutes. Whereas normally, I would take 10-15 minutes in the shower.
Doing nothing but thinking and repeatedly washing to look like there is some use for me to be in there.
So yeah, saved me a heck of a lot of time
I was Cold all day Afterwards
I’m not sure if it was just because it was January, or my arthritis or my recent weight loss but after taking cold showers I was freezing all day afterwards.
I wouldn’t warm up until I took another hot shower after training later in the day.
It Didn’t Get Easier the Longer I Did It.
Proponents of cold showers will tell you that it gets easier the longer you do it.
They are almost as annoying as those people that say you have to watch 10 seasons of 10 episodes of a Netflix series to get into it.
The sense of dread increased as January was coming to a close.
I don’t think I’d ever get used to it. I like my hot showers too much.
Once I Had a Cold Shower, I Knew the Worst Part of my Day Was Over With.
This is the way I look at it.
Cold showers are horrible.
No fun at all.
But hardly anything can get much worse.
So once they are done, the only was is up.
Don’t believe me?
- I found a squirrel in my attic,
- a leak in my roof wish is costing us over £5000 to fix
- I didn’t get a job I wanted and was told that I have no chance of getting it anytime soon
- I was told that I have to shield until 31st March.
None of those was worse than cold showers.
I Have a Sense of Pride that I Stuck With It For So Long.
You may not know this about me but I’m a perennial quitter.
Almost everything I ever start I rarely finish
From, gardening, to marathon training, to learning PHP, to my first Uni course, to woodworking and DIY projects.
I’m a nightmare.
So believe me when I say doing this every day made me feel a whole lot better in myself.
So I guess that goes back to the willpower thing mentioned earlier.
The only problem is, taking cold showers must have used up all my willpower because my nutrition and training took a nose dive.
You win some, you lose some.
Is Wim Hof Right?
I didn’t lose weight. I put on.
I still have arthritis and my immune system is shit.
I was alert for the 2 mins I was in the shower for.
My willpower took a boost.
Not sure if it reduced stress levels or just froze them alongside my nuts.
Cold showers are great as an experiment.
I can’t swear by them or use them religiously.
But they are worth a go to see if you hack it.
Are you going to give it a go? Let me know in the comments.