This article may contain affiliate links to products that we recommend to help our readers achieve their goals! If you purchase through our partner links, we will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Read more in our Terms & Conditions.
In this article, we will cover the main benefits of taking cold showers, why hot showers are not that good for you, and 5 tips on how you can get started on your own “cool journey”.
Cold showers are one of the most challenging habits to develop, yet one of the most rewarding. Why should you even take them? Well, let us say they pose quite a few benefits for both your body and your mind.
I started doing cold showers a couple of years ago. It was during a very hot summer here in Sweden and the temperature was well above 30⁰C (86⁰F). Honestly, hot showers are not that comfortable when you’re constantly sweating.
I noticed how refreshed I felt after exposing myself to the cold, how I stopped feeling overheated all the time, and how my focus and overall satisfaction increased.
Since then, cold showers have been more or less a daily habit for me. I take them first thing in the morning, about 1-2 minutes and it feels amazing!
Learn from the Master
It’s almost impossible to talk about cold showers without mentioning Wim Hof, the Iceman himself. Wim Hof is a Dutch adventurer and inspirer that holds 21 Guinness World Records related to cold exposure. He advocates taking cold showers to get in touch with the deepest part of yourself.
Wim Hof has his own method where he combines cold exposure (like cold showers and ice baths) with a special breathing technique.
I use his method from time to time and I can just say it’s something beyond the ordinary.
Benefits of going cold
People from all over the world that have integrated cold showers in their daily routine report a number of benefits from it. These are the ones listed on the Wim Hof website:
- Reduced stress levels
- Higher level of alertness
- More robust immune response
- Increased willpower
- Weight loss
Personally, the greatest benefits I experience from taking cold showers is the increase of alertness and willpower.
All the obstacles and stressors I encounter in my life just melts away when I take a cold shower. Because it’s impossible to think about anything else when the freezing water is hitting you right in the face.
It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings.
The stress or anxiety I might have about study, work, or relationships just feels so insignificant in comparison to exposing myself to the cold.
And, since I know I’m able to endure a cold shower, by setting my mind and using my breath, I know that I will be able to handle any challenge. My life problems are not near as uncomfortable, in that direct sense, as a cold shower.
If this is not motivational enough for you to start taking cold showers, check out the other benefits reported by thousands of people around the world.
Hot showers are not that good for you!
Still not convinced? Then let us talk about why hot showers are not that good for you in the first place.
According to Healthline hot showers can cause your skin and hair to dry out. This is because the hot water damages the outer layers of the skin which keeps the skin moist. Certain skin conditions, like eczema, could then become worse.
Hot showers can also cause you to itch more and even increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure can, in turn, affect your heart and brain, increasing the risk for heart attacks or even strokes.
Okay so you might get it, hot showers are not that good for you. You should go cold, fine!
But how do you even go about?
How to start
It seems like quite a threshold to just suddenly start switching from hot to cold showers.
Like most things, the initial change is the hardest. The key is gradual exposure!
How cold the water should be is different from person to person. But, the temperature of the water should feel challenging, not cozy.
Here are 5 tips so you can get started with cold showers:
1. Mix hot with cold
Do your regular hot showers but end with a 10-30 second cold shower. This way you will start with a warm feeling in your body and still get the benefits from the cold shower.
2. Go cold after a workout
If you can detach your shower handle you can start by exposing some body parts with cold water. This will help recover the muscles you feel soar or tiered in.
It’s also way easier to take a cold shower when you’re already warm and sweaty!
3. Do the Wim Hof breathing
The breathing technique from the Wim Hof method is said to help with cold exposure. Do some rounds before stepping into the cold shower. It will make you less reactant to the cold.
4. Set goals
Start small with just accomplishing 10-30 seconds of cold water. Set a timer on your phone to keep track. Then try 1 minute. Pay attention to your breathing as you do it.
The goal here is to get past the initial shock of the cold. You know you are on the right track when you can start taking deep and relaxed breaths without paying much attention to the cold water.
5. Reward yourself
After accomplishing a cold shower, make sure to reward yourself. You did something challenging, that’s great!
Have a warm cup of coffee, cook a good and healthy breakfast, or listen to some uplifting music. You’ve deserved it!
To summarize, here are the 5 tips you can get started with cold showers:
- Mix hot with cold
- Go cold after a workout
- Do the Wim Hof breathing
- Set goals
- Reward yourself
“One cold shower a day keeps the doctor away”
Now it’s time for you to get going!
I know, it’s a bit scary.
But remember all the amazing benefits you are losing out on. If not to mention all the downsides if you decide to continue with your ordinary hot showers.
I hope these tips for taking cold showers were helpful!
And I wish you good luck on this new adventure towards the challenging habit of taking daily cold showers. It’s cold, it’s challenging but so rewarding. You can do it!
If you want more inspiration, listen to our podcast episode about cold exposure!
Cold regards 😉
Latest posts by André (see all)
- #32 How to Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths (ft. Niklas Carlson) - 1st April 2021
- #31 Psychology of Marketing, Productivity and Finding Mentors (ft Oskar Söderlund) - 19th March 2021
- #29 Mental Habits to Develop a Strong Mind (Part 2) - 24th February 2021