6 min read

5 Reasons Why You Should Have Freezing Cold Showers

5 Reasons Why You Should Have Freezing Cold Showers
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Who would want to freeze themselves on purpose? I've been trying to finds ways on how to strengthen the mind and the body through reading a lot of self-development books and listening to mindset podcasts. This was when I discovered the "30 Day Cold Shower Challenge" by Rob Dial.  I know it sounds crazy but there are actually a lot of benefits that can be gained from having freezing cold showers. So I decided to take on this challenge and let you guys know if it actually works or not.

BENEFIT NUMBER 1: Builds Resilience

Hard work
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This was one of the main reasons why I decided to take on this challenge. Being able to build resilience takes time and it's not something which can be developed over night. So how does taking freezing cold showers build resilience? Your mind has this little voice which can give you thousands of excuses not to do something, which I refer to as the "middle man" (check out: Motivation is a Myth to learn more about it).

Now what do you think this voice tells you when it's a cold day and you need to take a cold shower? It'll most likely go along the lines of: "Hey Ben, you don't need to take a cold shower today, it's not really a big deal cause you took a cold shower yesterday already. How about skip today and just continue tomorrow, nobody will know anyways". That right there is your middle man trying to give you a thousand excuses to not do something and make yourself feel better about it.

When you hear that voice say "you don't need to do it, it's fine" is actually when you need to do the OPPOSITE of it. Don't let that middle man take control of your life. Being able to consistently take cold showers everyday regardless of the situation you're in is what is going to build your resilience. It'll help you conquer your mind and slowly get rid of the "middle man". I have found this to be THE BEST benefit of having cold showers as through practicing how to overcome that little voice in my head has help me built more resilience in my life. So if you're wanting to build resilience in your life, I definitely recommend taking on this 30 day challenge.

BENEFIT NUMBER 2: Strengthen Immunity and Improves Blood Circulation

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There is actually a study which shows that being exposed to a cold environment or cold water actually triggers an anti-inflammatory called norepinephrine which can raise the tolerance in your body. Think of this almost like a natural way of strengthening your immunity. Especially with what's going on around the world right now (COVID-19), this would be extremely beneficial right now to be able to increase our body's immune system.

You'll also be able physically see your body's reaction to cold water. Try getting an ice pack and placing it against your skin for about a minute or so. When you lift up the ice pack from your skin you'll notice that your skin is all red right? What's happening is that your blood is getting flushed out to your skin so it improves your blood circulation.

Now obviously this would be a lot harder to actually tell if my immune system improved or my blood circulation improved, but all I can say is that I did not get sick during this 30 day challenge. So maybe it worked?

BENEFIT NUMBER 3: Speeds Up Muscle Recovery

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You've probably seen from movies or listening to what professional athletes do after a workout which is jumping into an ice bath or applying ice to their bodies. This is also known as Cryotherapy which helps reduce inflammation and also lowers the risk of muscle soreness and injuries. You would always see professional athletes like Lebron James or Michael Jordan having ice packs covering his knees and even Tiger Woods who talks about how he often took ice baths during his PGA tour. This was mainly because they believed in the study that applying cold to your muscles will help with speeding up their muscle recover and lower the risk of injuries.

This was definitely something that I wanted to try out as I was starting to go back to the gym again where I would feel DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and wanted to see if cold showers would help. In my opinion, It was extremely difficult to gauge whether it worked on not, as the soreness was still there but not to the same degree. Now this could've been through the placebo effect or it actually working. But regardless of which one, it definitely helped me through the soreness when I was training again.  

BENEFIT NUMBER 4: Sleep Better

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This was an interesting one which I was keen on trying as well. With working from home and in lockdown, it's hard to switch your mind off work which impacts on the mental health and your sleep. So how does taking cold showers help with sleep?

When you're taking a freezing cold shower, your body goes into a mini shock as your body is not used to being exposed to such a low temperature. Your body starts sending signals to your mind alerting it saying you need to do something RIGHT NOW. So instantly the only thing your mind is thinking of is how do I regain control of my body to tell it that it's fine and calm the body down. This is amazing as all your anxiety, worries and stress for the day goes straight out the window and nothing else matters right now but you and yourself only.

The additional benefit of this is that it lowers your body temperature. Now when we go to sleep at night, how body naturally lowers it's core temperature in order to go to sleep. Having a cold shower an hour before going to bed, helps you with going to sleep faster as it requires less of an effort to reduce your core temperature.

I found that this was actually helpful but in a different way. After having a cold shower, you WANT to get into bed because you're feeling cold and whenever it's a cold weather sort of day, that's all you want to do, be in bed. So in doing this, yes it did help me sleep better but it was because I was in bed earlier and had time to actually wind down before sleeping.    


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Now this was a really strange benefit which I found as it was quite contradictory to the 4th benefit. If having a cold shower helps you sleep better, how does it help you with your focus? What happens is that your body gets a massive rush of adrenaline from having a cold shower and releases epinephrine. What's awesome about this is that it increases your energy and focus. It's crazy and I'm not entirely sure how it works, but this was definitely something which was the least expected benefit which had the most IMPACT to my life.

So my recommendation with taking cold showers is that the TIMING matters. Having a cold shower in the morning will help give you an energy boost and potentially not even need a coffee. But having a cold shower towards the end of the day will help you sleep better. I found this to be so fascinating as cold showers can be versatile and provide different benefits depending on how you utilise it.

I hope you found this insightful and that I was able to uncover the truths about what you can expect from doing the 30 day challenge. I highly recommend giving this a go if you're feeling like you're in a slump and want to change your mindset. If you do, I would love to hear how your experience was, so please either comment below or send me an email and let's continue on our self-development journey one step at a time.    


When your mind is telling you that you're done, that you're exhausted, that you cannot possibly go any further, you're only actually 40% done.
By David Goggins