Around two years ago I decided to start taking cold showers.
I’ll openly admit it was because of listening to influential people in the fitness industry. I was suffering from major delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and the foam roller just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted to jump on the trend.
I never imagined I’d see so many benefits from it and grow to love my morning cold showers.
If you’re going to embark on this journey, you need to remember it’s going to be uncomfortable and challenging but that’s quickly overcome by how invigorating and rewarding the whole process is.
Here are some of the benefits I’ve seen along the way.Reducing inflammation and muscle soreness:
I’m usually quite sore after weight training and my muscles become inflamed. I used to have a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, but really, I needed different methods of recovery. Since taking cold showers I’ve found that my inflammation has decreased, and my circulation has improved. Both factors have sped up my recovery process and allowed me to train at 100% without worrying about the aftermath.Increased alertness and mood:
I take my showers first thing in the morning, and there are a few reasons for this. The first one is that it means I’m clean but… I’ve found it massively increases my alertness and energy levels for the rest of the day.
Exposing my body to the cold water first thing, managing my breathing and monitoring my heart rate has really proven to boost my focus in the gym and on everyday tasks, plus the shock of cold water can trigger the release of endorphins, which I believe has played a huge part in reducing stress and improving my overall mood.
Goodbye brain fog!Enhanced skin and hair health:
Something I didn’t really expect, or see from anyone else online, was the improvements in the appearance and health of my skin and hair. A few years ago, I lost a lot of my hair due to stress. The cold-water therapy has improved blood flow to my hair follicles, and I’ve had healthy hair re-growth in areas that have been quite sparse for a while. Plus, I think my complexion is glowing!Improved immune function:
One of my biggest worries is getting sick. This is because it throws my training off and sets me back. I was told that cold water exposure can boost your immune system.
When you expose your body to cold water, your body produces more white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. This can help strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of illness.
I do believe in the last two years, even with Covid hanging around, I’ve been sick a lot less than I used to be. That feels like a win to me.Tips from someone who’s made mistakes:
I thought it would be easy, threw myself in at the deep end and then put myself off trying again for a couple of weeks. Make sure you ease yourself into it.
A good method is to start by taking your regular warm shower and gradually lowering the temperature until it feels cold. Eventually, you’ll feel comfortable enough to turn the shower on cold.
It's also important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you feel uncomfortable or in pain, stop the cold shower and warm up gradually.
Whether you’re an advanced athlete, an everyday gym-goer, or completely uninterested in fitness, it’s proven that cold water therapy will improve the quality of your life.
So why not give it a go?