Daily Cold Showers Bring May Flowers… My Cold Therapy Routine; Mind-Body-Spirit
It has been exactly two weeks since I gave birth,
And I will say that it has been a true collection of not days but hours; 24, 48, 72. A swarming colidascope of memories and sensations and smells (yes, smells) that I will never ever forget and probably want to relive and strive remember as time moves forward and my baby grows.
There is however the sleep that has become a second priority, and the new stresses of being a first time mom. On a personal note my body is still not cleared to workout so I am missing my discipline and the mental fortitude that comes from training. I am missing the grit and grind that comes with training, the drive that I need to get out there and do something that I may not ‘want’ to do.
In comes the daily cold showers
I don’t have enough energy to fill up a tub of cold water every day
So why (o’why) you may ask am I doing a daily cold shower routine- isn’t it enough torture to go through such a huge adjustment in my new life, my new schedule and my new normal of ‘less sleep’ and more amazing baby stares. Why, you may ask would I want to further discomfort myself with cold showers (ouch!).
Sure I don’t enjoy them much, not in the beginning (although I do feel like a million bucks when they are done). So that’s one reason – I feel incredible once that one minute or two minute timer goes off and my skin is tighter and refreshed and somehow I get a boost of serotonin through my veins. I fee (as odd as it may seem) accomplished.
The reason behind this self torture is fairly simple,
I believe that no matter how difficult it is we must always, in any situation strive to fortify and challenge our Mind, Body and Spirit. It is after all why we become better, stronger humans.
I started cold showers last year prior to pregnancy, it was after I had suffered a personal loss that sent a shock to my system that left me further away from the person I had become all of these years that I knew I needed to shock myself back into strength and reality. Martial arts and my community, specifically my family followed by my training partners at our Martial Arts Academy were my main strengtheners. But, once I found myself panicking from claustrophobia in a martial art (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) position that I had trained for over a decade, I knew that I needed to add something to my routine. Something that would help bring me back and build me forward.
At that same time there were a ton of social media posts and rumblings about the benefits of both heat (infrared-sauna) and cold (cold dips, ice baths).
Now, my lifting and especially martial arts practice has always given me what I needed in terms of discipline and grit and perspective. But, the cold showers would be that thing that I knew I had to push myself to do because it’s something I truly didn’t enjoy. It was something I didn’t owe to anyone, and had every excuse not to do. And therefore it was the perfect routine for me- a way to push further forward and strengthen myself mentally. Because, there is something about doing when you don’t have to (but should) that really builds character and strength.
So, on that note, sold or just curious, here are the actually benefits of cold showers.
Proven Benefits of Cold Training
Checkout this study – that basically says that people who subject themselves to cold showers/ dips increase their white blood cell count, therefore fighting off disease. How? they stimulate your immune system, and stress the body in a healthy way, triggering more white blood cell production.
Blood Circulation Increases
This helps fight inflammation, stress and stimulates your circulatory system. All great stuff guys (do your own research)
The cold generally forces you to activate your brown fat and increases metabolism.
Fertility and Higher Testosterone
Many studies have found that cold showers literally activate your body and boost testosterone (do a scholarly google search on this and learn about these benefits).
They Help Exhaustion
It’s no secret that cold showers ‘wake you up’ but this fact is true in a greater way then you think. They wake up the body from the inside, making you more alert and getting your mind back on track.
Mentally Strong & Disciplined
You better believe it, it’s hard, especially in the beginning to get yourself on a daily routine of cold showers. Especially at the end of a long day, its pretty daunting to turn that water to the cold side and stand there – in fact you’ll have every excuse not to do it ‘today’.
But the truth is, if you begin this routine; just 1 minute (put a timer on because that minute will feel LONG) you will become stronger and more disciplined, and at the end of 21 days you will feel stronger then ever! and mentally this wiill open an entire new pathway or the way you look and approach challenges.
So, you in? I dare you to of for 1 minute today and see what happens.