Updated: Nov 18, 2021
The benefits from having cold showers are huge. If you’re curious about starting, or you have in the past and really not enjoyed the experience.. keep reading to find out how to cold shower and why we love it.
Benefits of Cold Showers
During the day and night the body fluids settle in the body. Toxins and chemicals settle in your organs and the blood becomes stagnant in places. Your immune system has to get to work to clear the toxins and chemicals from your body. While it is busy doing this, it doesn't have a chance to work on the more important intruders - viruses and bacteria. If your immune health is constantly preoccupied with clearing toxins and chemicals (think fast food, alcohol, air pollution, chemicals in your drinking water) it becomes depleted and you become sick more easily.
A cold shower is a great way to support your body's immune system, first thing in the morning. When you take a cold shower the quick cold water on the skin signals to the brain that the body is "under attack" from the cold. The body's immediate defence mechanism is to quickly send fresh, new (and hot!) blood rushing to the skin to protect the body from the attack.
The crazy thing is just 30 - 60 seconds under the cold water is enough and you actually come out feeling warm, accomplished and happy.
These are the benefits from this process:
Performs a micro cleanse on your circulatory system. This clears out your blood, body fluids and helps to increase white blood cell production and function. A+ for Immunity.
Balances the glandular system. You receive a flood of happy hormones (endorphins) and this is actually the part that keeps you coming back for more.
Brings a fresh, new blood supply to your internal organs. They will work more efficiently, giving you more energy and reducing tiredness and malaise.
Strengthens your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems helping you to regulate stress, anxiety and depression.
Causes the muscles to contract, eliminating toxins and chemicals more efficiently.
Will keep your skin bright and glowing.
Improves fat metabolism to support weight management and loss.
Builds up courage, stamina and willpower.
How to do it!
If you're doing this for the first time my best advice is wait until spring / summer and it's a nice hot day.
Cold showers are best taken in the morning, rather than at night.
Pick up a bottle of your favorite body oil from the health food shop. I like Sweet Almond Oil or Apricot Oil. The oil does two things - takes the super shock out of the cold water (particularly in winter) and also is a beneficial moisturiser for your skin as the hot skin at the end of the cold shower draws in the oils to your cells.
Lather your body with the oil... don't leave any skin out. It's best when the oil is warm so rub it through your hands first or gently warm up a small dish of oil in some hot water.
Turn the water on so it's coming out pretty well. Not too hard, and not too light either.
First timers.. start by getting your arms in, then the shins and calves (we avoid direct water on the thighs) & feet, then the lower back and finally your upper body (front and back) arm pits, face, ears, back of the neck and if you're going to do your hair, top of your head.
For each part of your body that is under the water, rub vigorously with your hands over the skin.
The aim is up to about 60 seconds under the cold water, working your way across your body. The aim isn't to stand under the water as you would a warm shower. Your whole body won't be under the water all at the same time. You are actively directing the cold water to a different part of your body and then moving on.
After a couple of practices you can give this method a go...
Oil up the body and turn the water on.
Go straight in to the front and under the armpits, rubbing the skin vigorously.
Turn around and do the upper & lower back.
Turn around and do the belly.
Come back up and check the heat around the belly and heart space. We tend to glide over this part first time, so make sure you give the chest and breasts a good, quick wash and massage.
Back of the neck
Front of the neck, face & ears.
If you can air dry your hair also include the top of your head. Otherwise leave this for hair washing day.
You're done in 60 seconds!
When in doubt, I like to remind myself that this is only 60 seconds of my life. And at the end of the minute I know I will be warm, refreshed, healthier, happier and way more sparkly.
When you hop out you'll notice the rush of endorphins, not to mention that feeling of accomplishment and increased willpower. Actually stop and take a moment to enjoy this feeling. You totally did it. This is a win and a big deal so make the most of this moment!
Good luck & happy cold showering!