Cold showers have a bad reputation. Talking to my classmates on a chilly December afternoon reinforced this common consensus. Gwyn Edwards, a 2nd year wine writer from Wales, told me of his “utter hatred for cold showers; it’s like a dagger in the lungs with a water bill attached”. Sombrely looking down into his latte, Gwyn continued: “but as my flatmates rise earlier than me, I have no choice”.
I turned to Gordon, a French 2nd year art nouveau film producer, in hope. Sadly he was just as negative: “as a left-wing libertarian the notion of showering strikes fear into my very soul. Even more so with the cold variety.”
But rest assured. With this concise, cutting list of five reasons to take the icy plunge, the Gwyns and Gordons of this world will become convinced. For 2018, be a hero and turn the temp to zero. Here’s why:
1. Detonating Doziness
Cold showers wake you up. They jolt you into action. Often in the mornings our semi conscious mind wanders off on non-productive tangents. Cold showers sort that out and kick-start a day of pure productivity. The artic water triggers deep breathing which heightens your heart rate and oxygen intake, leaving you energized and alert, without the comedown that caffeine entails.
2. Spartan Sensibility
Cold showers boost your willpower. Undertaking a task every morning that incurs inner resistance heightens your mental toughness. This toughness translates into everyday life and soon sees you undertake brawnier challenges. Our confidence is built on small wins. The Spartans thought warm water was for the weak. You can be strong without cold showers, but they certainly move you in the right direction.
3. Cleaner Skin, Texured Trim
Natural oils are central to the healthy appearance of our skin and hair. Cold showers help maintain that natural goodness. They also keep your hair follicles flat; reinforcing their grip to your scalp. Flowing locks appear fuller and more textured as a result of the icy plunge.
4. Muscle Recovery
The Spartan shower aides the removal of lactic acid; a must for muscle recovery after vigorous exercise. It also helps maintain good blood circulation; which accelerates the speed of your recuperation, whilst also being vital for overall cardiovascular health. On a more metaphorical level, that icy whoosh after a gym sesh can prove a very cathartic experience.
5. Relaxation Discovery
Somewhat counterintuitively, cold showers also provide a means for deep relaxation. We are stressed out when our mind constantly flits between thoughts. We become less aware of our external reality. The shock of the cold water has been proven to alleviate depressive thoughts for this reason. It jolts you away from agitated thinking, and drop-kicks you into the present. Similarly it helps you sleep; replacing nocturnal premonitions with an overall sense of chill.