12 Changes I Experienced After Taking Cold Showers for a Year

Cold showers can change your life. Taking cold showers will improve the quality of your life. Yes, that’s a bold claim and yes, I stand by it.

I’ve been taking cold showers daily for a year now. I started with 30 days and wanted to share the benefits that I’ve noticed, and why I stuck with it.

Cold showers provide results. I’ve seen tons of benefits in my own life and I’m sure you will too. In this article, I’m going to share the benefits of taking cold showers and provide you the tips and tricks I’ve used to make it a habit.

Benefits of Taking Cold Showers (With Evidence)

1. Improved Immune System

Cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body. White blood cells are crucial to your immune system. Thus, a boost in white blood cells means a boost in immunity. This study concluded a statistical significance in the reduction of sickness reported.

This is one of the most important reasons why I take cold showers. I hate being sick, and the more I can decrease the time spent being sick, the better. Since I started, I’ve noticed I don’t get sick as much, maybe once a year max.

2. Relieves Depression

Cold showers decrease cortisol levels in the body and elevate your mood [study]. There are multiple ways cold showers improve your emotional state. The cold water sends electrical impulses to your brain, shocking your system, increasing mental clarity and energy levels. Cold water also causes a release in endorphins (the happiness hormone) which naturally generates positive emotions.

3. A Higher Level of Alertness

The shock of cold exposure forces you into a state of presence because, let’s be real, you can’t be shocked and thinking at the same time. This will induce a higher state of alertness, which is ideal for focus and concentration throughout the day.

4. Increased Willpower

It takes willpower to endure the cold for an extensive period. By introducing cold showers into your daily routine you are strengthening your willpower, which leads to huge benefits for your life.

5. Weight Loss

Research has shown that cold showers increase your metabolic rate. It also stimulates brown fat tissue which burns calories to generate heat. More details are provided in this study.

6. Better Skin and Hair

Hot water dries your skin while cold water tightens pores. This prevents dirt from clogging your pores, preventing acne and blackheads. It’s also great for your scalp which makes your hair shinier and more attractive.

7. Improved Muscle Recovery

Exercise inflames the body and cold water acts as an anti-inflammatory which can help you recover quicker. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vesicles. This study concluded that muscle soreness is delayed by exposure to cold water.

8. Cold Resistance

This is self-explanatory but if you constantly expose yourself to the cold, you’re going to create a resistance to cold temperatures. The ability to function in colder weather and not freeze is very beneficial especially if you live in a cold climate. (like Canada)

The Real Benefits

9. Becoming Present

The benefits listed above are not the reason why I take cold showers. The immunity is great but the best part of cold showers is the state of mind it puts me in.

They wake me up and sends me into a state of immense presence. This by far is the most important thing about it. If you meditate and are familiar with being present, it’s a state of mind where you are in complete awareness of what’s going on. You cannot think once the cold water hits you, it takes you out of your mind and puts you into your body. You’re alert and aware; this is the state of mind I love to be in.

There’s a lot of benefits to being present and I could write a whole article about that. For example, your thoughts become more quiet and optimal. You become un-reactive to useless emotions and external situations. And you become in tune with your body and understand yourself better.

10. Instant Boost To Productivity

The research on this is not convincing but nothing counteracts inconclusive research better than feeling it for yourself. I’ve noticed when I start my day off with a cold shower, I immediately become more productive. Yes, it’s better than any caffeine or drug you can take and it’s free.

11. Improved Mood

Before I get in, I intuitively feel resistant to taking a cold shower. But, every single time I step out of a cold shower, I come out feeling invigorated and powerful. It’s hard to describe the feeling in words, but you feel like you can do anything.

12. Personal Growth

Growth is not painless; Growth is painful and necessary. You deal with psychological pain to grow mentally and physical pain to grow your muscles. Starting your day with a cold shower is like starting your day with a shot of physical and mental growth.

“Why do you deal with this torture?”

I get the same feeling that you do before I take a cold shower. I dread it and don’t want to take one. My brain constantly finds reasons not to do it and I feel like it’s not worth the shock.

I get asked this question all the time, and my response is always the same. I turn my brain off, turn the dial to the coldest point, and then deal with it. The hardest part is the first second, but once you start, chances are you’ll stay. It’s crazy to think like this, but this form of execution works for me and I utilize it every time I have to do something I don’t want to.

I’ll admit even after a year of doing cold showers, there are still days when getting into one is a challenge. Here are a few tips and tricks on how I deal with those situations.

How to Take Cold Showers! (Tips and Tricks)

1. Start with a Warm Shower

It’s a lot easier to get into the shower when it’s warm. Start warm, take a normal shower and in the end make it cold.

2. Increase the time every session

Start with 30 seconds of cold the first time and then maybe 1 min the second. This is the progressive approach I used when I first started. Now my goal is to control my breathing back to normal and only then can I stop.

3. Think of the benefits

There’s a lot of benefits listed in this article for taking cold showers. You need to think of the reasons you want to take one and keep them in the front of your mind. We tend to move towards pleasure and away from pain. The pleasure of the benefits needs to motivate you more than the pain/fear of the cold shower.

4. Reward yourself

Your brain won’t remember every experience including most of your cold showers. However, it will associate pleasure with cold showers if you reward yourself every time you take one. After completing a cold shower, do something you enjoy and your brain will connect the dots.

Making it a Habit

In this article, I talked about immersion training and that’s exactly how I recommend you make this a Habit. This method worked for me and I use it every time I want to form a new habit.

Conclusion

When I was researching this I found tons of articles saying the benefits are myths and it’s not worth it. To be honest, even if the science doesn’t pan out, from my personal experience, I can say it’s definitely worth it. The only way to truly know is to try it and see for yourself.

Cold showers are one of the only habits that have stuck with me for over a year. It may seem daunting at first, but there are only benefits to gain from doing this daily.

You’ll feel more alert, more energized, and mentally calmer.

I strongly recommend you try it. You’ll be surprised what could happen!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store