How to do cold showers

Turn on the cold water – duh!

Nahh – this is not going to be some long explanation of why cold showers is a good idea and not some crazy way to make them easy. It’s just going to be a few easy points on how to make them more bearable and therefore enabling you to stay a bit longer under the cold fountain of iron forging hell that cold showers can feel like.

Optimally you would have a nice ice bath to lower yourself into, but if you are somewhat normal you probably do not have that option. The layman edition of cold showers include such advanced remedies as this long exhausting list:

  • Shower
  • Cold water

So I do not expect to have lost anyone so far.

As with anything that is labelled beneficial or optimal from food to training programs, it is not as much about finding the optimal food or program but what works optimal for exactly your situation. As this blogs mantra “keep it simple” underlines – we are looking to get as much bang for the buck as possible – not trying to coach elite Olympic athletes into shaving of hundreds of a second.

So how to approach the cold shower? First of; it is not supposed to be easy. You can ease into it by starting warm and gradually going colder, but eventually you should just find yourself standing under the cold water as it gently caresses, or as you would probably describe it; sharply stings and freezes your body.

Cold showers are as much an exercise in toughness and mental strength as a way to improve your health. Suck it up!

But there are a few key points to make them more bearable. If you keep your face and your hands outside of the water you will last way longer. This may be a problem if you have a very fancy shower that totally covers your body, but if you live somewhat ordinarily with the water coming either directly down from the top or at an angle from the wall, you will have options to try this out. I have a shower where the water comes at an angle and I usually switch between having it hit my chest and down and the upper part of my back and down. Not having my face and hands directly in the stream of cold water greatly increases the amount of time I am able to spend underneath it. And as the “goal” of cold showers is lowering body temperature, then this is not even “cheating” or taking anything away from that.

The other key point is keeping track of your breath and relaxing. If you tense up entirely and start almost hyperventilating even before hitting the water, you are not going to last many seconds underneath it. Take some deep breaths and try to relax. I really think meditation has helped me with this part, but I can help myself by focusing on some thought or maybe even just a point on the wall and then just sticking with it almost “ignoring” the cold water on my body.

Try to tell yourself that it is okay, rather than fill your body with fear of this all-conquering force trying to freeze you to death. You are going to be okay and you can anytime you want abort mission.

If you try these to little tricks I am sure that your cold showers will last longer. Not promising that they will be pleasant or that you will go from having hated them to loving them – but it should enhance the effect of them by enabling you to stay under for longer. Good luck!

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