Today is November 22nd, 2013.
Today is also Day #600 for me and Cold Shower Therapy.
Some crazy idea that taking cold showers makes you more disciplined. Say what?
But after 600 days of taking cold showers, (sometimes twice a day, because nothing helps deal with aches and pains from an intense workout quite like a cold shower), I am here to tell you it’s true.
I have learned discipline on a level I never knew possible and I have learned strength in a whole new way. Cold showers helped me overcome heartbreak this year. Joel doesn’t mention anything about that in his post, but it’s true. I cold showered my way through England, Portugal AND Ireland, where the water gets a special kind of cold depending on what type of shower you’re using. In fact, in Portugal, I didn’t take any warm showers. It was hot enough out that I didn’t have to, AND it just felt good on my skin after spending time in the sun, pool or on the beach.
People think I’m insane. “What? You take cold showers every day?! Why?” But they never actually want to hear the answer. They can’t get past the fact that it’s cold water. Why on earth would you want to take a cold shower when you don’t have to? Well. That’s kind of the point. We’re so comfortable being comfortable with the life we know. I know a lot of us who love to travel and put ourselves into situations that will force us outside of our comfort zone. But the people who are unwilling to try cold shower therapy are the same one’s who think I’m insane for doing them. They’ll tell me they don’t need to try it, because it’s crazy and they really like their hot showers.
I have a friend who is a burn survivor. I suggested to him, just for the sake of discipline, that he try cold showers. He said there was NO way he was giving up his hot showers. But one day, he just did it. He didn’t tell anyone he was doing it, in case he didn’t keep doing it. But he did it. And then one day he sent me a text message to say he’d been taking cold showers for 5 days…He went the full 30. And what he realized is that the cold showers helped to regulate his body temperature in the summer because, as a burn survivor, your body temp gets all messed up and he was always too warm. He found a way to alleviate some of that.
Hot showers are awesome. Or at least they used to be. I used to have hot showers until I used up all the hot water in my house, especially on the weekends. Hot showers are a great way to get warm when you’ve been outside or when the weather is frightful. Heck, what’s not to love about a hot shower?
But hot showers are what we know. Hot showers are what us first world’ers know as “normal”. Don’t you ever get tired of normal? Doesn’t normal ever get boring?
Let me tell you something. I was never bored with my hot showers. Not ever. BUT when I read that first blog post about cold shower therapy, I had to try it. I was changing up everything else in my life, why not stretch myself a little further and take a cold shower? Why not, indeed. It’s by far one of the hardest things I had ever done. Until, I gave up chocolate. And processed foods. And sugar. And wheat. And grains. Then it was all relative. The cold showers helped me take all those things out of my every day. They reminded me what I was committed to. I lost 70lbs in that first year of cold showers. I know it wasn’t all just because of the cold showers. Everything I just said above, PLUS cold showers, helped me do that. I started boxing, and kickboxing and I started going to spin. All things I never would’ve dreamed I could do. And now, I go to bootcamp which is the hardest effing thing I’ve ever done in my life. I kid you not. Those damn kettle bells are going to kill me. But when I wake up in the morning and I can hardly raise my arms over my head from the soreness, I turn that water to cold and I mentally high-five myself.
And then when I started to notice my scalp was no longer dry, because I was now washing my hair in cold water. And my skin was velvety soft..not just soft..but like butter soft..because I was now cleansing my face in cold water…That my skin was shinier, more radiant. That I looked healthier. My hair shinier. Well. That sure helped. I started to notice I had to soak the dishes in hot water, and wait awhile before I could wash them, because I couldn’t stick my hands in hot water anymore. Warm was plenty, thank you. I started to notice, that sleeping with the window open wasn’t much of an option anymore because I was colder. But that simply meant my blood was flowing through my body in a more healthy way. (If you want to see the impressive results after only 6 months, here’s a before/after)
And it helps that people think I’m a heck of a bad a** for taking cold showers all the time. Don’t get me wrong. The other day I came home from a bootcamp and was freezing because it had been raining, so I climbed into my 2nd shower of the day and I kept it warm. It felt so good on my cold body. But those post workout showers usually last about 3-5 minutes and I’m done. Just enough to get the sweat off me so I don’t leave it on my sheets. I still use warm water when I shave my legs, and condition my hair.
Hot showers are now a thing of the past.
Why? Because I’m the bada** who inspires people to stretch themselves out of their comfort zone, even if it’s just for a minute..even if they’re standing in their shower considering turning the water to cold…that’s who I get to be. The one who people ask “Aren’t you the one who takes cold showers every day?”
Yes. Yes. I am.
PS This morning, for my 600th day of cold showers…the temperature outside at 6am when I stepped into the shower was -1c outside which translates to 30.1f, and I’m still freezing…but I DO feel alive.
You rock Rita. My friend posted this on their FB wall and I had to check it out because I go back and forth with the cold water therapy. But shit, seeing you do it for 600 days, well, I’m pretty freaking inspired right now. Maybe it’s time I try to stretch this casual cold water shower hobby into a regular part of my life. Plus, buttery skin sounds nice!
Rock on girl, and congrats!
Lauren! that is fantastic! I’m thrilled to know you got some inspiration out of it. It’s one of those things that you will never love. It won’t get any easier, AND it’s the best flipping thing I know, that I’ve ever done for myself. We, as human beings don’t like to be uncomfortable, when being comfortable is all we’ve ever known. I say BE uncomfortable. I say go forth and make yourself as uncomfortable as possible whenever possible and see what happens. Life doesn’t work when it’s stagnant. Y’know? And let me tell you Lauren..people stare at me all the time because my skin looks that good. I often will let them touch it…lol. Thank you for reading this post and thank your friend for posting it! ~ Rita PS let me know how your next 30 days goes!!
600! That is crazily impressive. I am trying out cold showers in February as I have read lots of great comment on Joel Runyons website, where I found this blog from.
It has to be one of the things I try to live in 2014 and not just read about!
Oh my god Rita – I was with you guys at the very beginning and followed your year of CST. You did 600 days. You rock.
Claire! I’m so sorry I’m just getting this comment now. Thank you! I stopped counting after 1000 days but haven’t missed a single day.
How many minutes each cold shower should be to get good result?
Can you please let me know how long you spend each time
Thank you for sharing your experience, it is very inspiring. I just have a question : how long after you started to take cold showers did you notice a difference on your skin? I have been taking cold showers for over a month now, i feel the positive effect on my energy levels and moods, however my skin is becoming very dry.
Congrats. Major feat and life improvement. Such a simple action yet so underrated. I have just completed my first year. The Major benefit in my life has been health. Ever since I started I have not got any type of sickness especially cold/flu/coughing. Quoting another blog about the subject I attribute this result to cold water impact of body lymph nodes that flushes all free radicals keeping your natural defenses high at all times.
I take cold showers, and look, I lived through it to text this. I have crazy bad circulation in my feet, they turn purple and cold even In a nice warm house. I also can say I’m pretty skinny-so not well equipped for cold. But cold showers change your life. Trust me people: you will live through it, and (not kidding,) after my first cold shower I felt was like I had a revelation.
Hi! Just read about this and wanted to get started right away. When is the bet time to have a cold shower??
What time of the day is the best time to have a cold shower?? I wanna start this minute!!
hi! Im very interested in doing this challengue properly. I have been taking cold showers since about 3 months but the water on my house doesnt really get that cold since we are almost always in summer, so I would like to make it colder. Im already puring a bucket of ice on my head but its not enough, its just a brief coldness, what would you recomend in order for me to have veryyy cold showers?
i think that depends on where you are andres. I’ve taken cold showers in england, ireland, portugal, hawaii…doesn’t matter where i am…they are just cold. it’s just plain old cold water coming out of the tap. so i don’t know…you could try ice baths. maybe that would help? otherwise. i’d say come spend some time in canada. the water’s mighty cold up here
hi rita just found this and have been taking cold showers for 2 days, its amazing!! i added something else to the cold showers and that was taking them in the dark. yes i know weird but it helps you remember your apartment/bathroom and helps you rely on your other senses and taking a cold shower really helped me clear up anxiety that i have as it made me focus on my breathing ( it got to cold one time and i couldnt control my breath ) so thanks you awesome bada** mofo!!!😆😄
in the dark? that’s bad a**!!!
Thank you for sharing this post with me dear Rita. I adore your writing style and love hearing about your experience. XO
i am so excited for you and everything that’s opening up for you since taking on cold shower therapy!!!
Awesome post, I’m also a firm believer in the cold shower but I think if the temp where you are is -1 your showers are colder haha .
I found your blog after looking around for people who take cold showers, I just finished writing a blog post about them
I think they are amazing for mindfulness and exercise of will.
Have you ever read or seen any stuff by Wim Hof aka ‘The Ice Man’? .. he’s a crazy dutch meditation guy who LOVES the cold 🙂
Hey Matt! I don’t know anything about the ice man! that sounds super cold. lol. They ARE amazing and i can’t live without them. I’m coming up on my five year anniversary!!
Matt, I just read your post. So funny! I love how you just say “try ’em”. I’ve been saying that to people for almost 5 years. People discount them without even taking one. Do you know how often I’ve heard the sentence “I thought of you when I got in the shower this morning…” but very few of those people are actually willing to take the plunge, as it were. Even this morning when I had my 50 thousandth cold shower (that might e a slight exaggeration), I can’t imagine not washing my hair in cold. It just baffles the mind. I hope you’re still going strong! It’s good to know I’m not the only one!
For sure, I’m still using the cold, when I’m tired I don’t want to but if I don’t I don’t really feel refreshed.
5 years is awesome… maybe not 50,000th shower but you much be close 🙂
The iceman is next level there is a vice video of him here https://youtu.be/VaMjhwFE1Zw
Stay true .. stay cold 🙂
I feel so at home hearing you guys talking about cold showers.
I am considered crazy amongst my relatives because i take cold showers.
Im cold,uh..cool with that.lol.
Joel Runyon In his Ted talk shared a talk on it and ive been hooked for 18 months intermittently..
Rita, i like the way you write ,without the complicated science to it.
It appeals to the majority of people .
I have started recently to have my 7 year old spray me in our backyard with a hose pipe at 8am weekends at 8 degrees Celsius.
He thinks i am crazy too.lol.
Also try CST App to log your cold showers..
The statistics is encouraging.
Cold showers separates the talkers from the doers.
Its a lifechanging to say the least.
Thank you for your article Rita
And you guys are an amazing.can do, no B.S. group.
I like it..