Author Topic: Cold Showers rock in more ways I can describe. Also free and take no extra time.  (Read 14984 times)

JoshuaSpodek

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Like anyone, I would have considered anyone suggesting voluntarily taking cold shower crazy. I love hot showers. Cold showers make it hard to breathe or even think. Then I read a bunch on it and tried it. I did a month of only cold showers. It was an amazing experience. As uncomfortable as they are, they
  • are incredibly invigorating
  • cost nothing
  • take no extra time
  • get your blood pumping like jumping out of an airplane
  • pollute less than a hot shower
  • have no risk of injury

They turn out to give you a lot of the benefit of discipline-based activities like exercise, meditation, and so on. They teach you how to overcome internal challenges. Physical pleasure isn't the only value in life. Sometimes you get more by sacrificing it. I couldn't help blog about the experience and I'll put some links to it below, but for this community I'll point out they are free in money and time.


After thirty days of not touching the hot water for my showers, the "polar vortex" happened, which prompted me to try for personal bests of low water temperature, like I do when running or doing other exercises. You know what? As soon as the shower ended, no matter how cold the water, the discomfort went away. It's temporary, but the benefits endure.

I've also run into a couple people who tried cold showers. You have to try it to get it. It's purely experiential learning. The people I talked to who tried it got a lot from it. They learn about themselves, find themselves able to lose weight with the skill to choose more deliberately, and so on.

I recommend people think about trying them. I'd love to hear if anyone else here tried them. (I hope not too many people post about how they could never do it or that doing it is crazy).

Has anyone else done it? Does anyone want to try?

rocksinmyhead

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oh my god. this sounds terrifying and I am almost getting that "struggling to catch your breath in a cold shower" feeling just thinking about it... but at the same time, SUPER intrigued. you're doing a good job selling it!

Eric

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Sorry to hear your love life has taken such a sour turn Joshua.  :)

MooseOutFront

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I saw a brief mention of this by Jacob at ERE extolling the virtues.  I will be giving it a try at some point.  Not being able to take a cold shower is a bit of a handicap anyway.

Clever Name

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I tried this once for about a week.  I felt a little more awake afterwards, but that's it.  I decided it wasn't worth the discomfort.

Greg

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In the books, James Bond always finished his showers with cold water.  But, he's James Bond.

JoshuaSpodek

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Sorry to hear your love life has taken such a sour turn Joshua.  :)

I know you were joking, but according to Timothy Ferriss it has the opposite effect -- at least, someone told me he said cold showers boost testosterone.

JoshuaSpodek

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oh my god. this sounds terrifying and I am almost getting that "struggling to catch your breath in a cold shower" feeling just thinking about it... but at the same time, SUPER intrigued. you're doing a good job selling it!

I thought I was being all badass about it. Then my sister told me she mentioned I was doing it to her neighbor, a middle-aged woman, who said she had been taking cold showers forever like it was no big deal, so I had to increase my humility. Actually, she told my sister she took two showers a day, one hot and one cold. I think one was to clean and the other was either to wake her up or help her sleep. I forget which.

galliver

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Did this for several weeks (more than two weeks and less than the whole summer) when I was doing a summer internship and staying at my uncle's and his water heater broke. I lived and my hair was a little shiner, but I was probably more asleep in the mornings. I get cold when I'm sleepy and sleepy when I'm cold, so reinforcing morning grogginess with more cold is not the right approach for me. Warm showers get me from "sleep temperature" to "operating temperature" and actually do a better job of waking me up.

Kudos that this is working for you, but I tend to save my badassity for after 10AM.

Spectra

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I've done lots of cold showers before and it is invigorating. But I have to say I once hiked 8 hours in 90 degrees heat to a glacier that was melting into a pool on one side. I swam in it to prove my Badassity to the others there. But gotta say it was the most relaxing experience of my life when I got out. I felt like I had taken one step yet that day.

schimt

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You should look for a polar bear plunge event in your area. We have been doing it for 4 years now (In the new jersey area) to raise money for special olympics. Always a fun event and sounds like you would enjoy it.

Best part is that it is easy to raise money, because everyone you ask to do the plunge with you tells you that you are crazy, then you just ask well then would you be interested in sponsoring me for the event?!

Hedge_87

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I took cold showers for a month while waiting on my landlord to replace my water heater. It was in the middle of august and had 100+ degree days and the place didn't have ac. It took a while to adjust, but now I do it all through the summer. very good way to cool off and cheaper than running AC. Now if I could just limit my hot showers in the winter I would be set lol.

GuitarStv

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They're nice in the summer, but not my cup of tea in the winter.  I use a warm shower to get rid of the numbness and frostbite in my fingers, ears, and toes from being outside at -30 for extended periods.  Cold showers would be counter productive for this.

schimt

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Now if I could just limit my hot showers in the winter I would be set lol.

I turned down the temperature on our hot water heater for this purpose! It shortened the amount of time that the hot water will last. Cut's down on gas and water bill, and time wasted in the shower

JoshuaSpodek

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You should look for a polar bear plunge event in your area. We have been doing it for 4 years now (In the new jersey area) to raise money for special olympics. Always a fun event and sounds like you would enjoy it.

Best part is that it is easy to raise money, because everyone you ask to do the plunge with you tells you that you are crazy, then you just ask well then would you be interested in sponsoring me for the event?!

My friends asked me to join them on one of those, but one of the great things about showers is that they don't take any time or effort. I'm too lazy to go to the beach in the summer, so going in the winter is even more effort.

That said, I'm sure I'll do it at some point.

Today I hit another "personal best" -- the shower water was 39.9 degrees, enough to kind of hurt. Though it makes the rest of life easier.

CommonCents

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I've done lots of cold showers before and it is invigorating. But I have to say I once hiked 8 hours in 90 degrees heat to a glacier that was melting into a pool on one side. I swam in it to prove my Badassity to the others there. But gotta say it was the most relaxing experience of my life when I got out. I felt like I had taken one step yet that day.

Oh, see I did this as a kid for fun.  :)  Lived in Juneau, AK, and remember my mom snapping away pics when we were swimming in the glacier water and we just didn't see why.  Now of course, I can look at the pics and think I was crazy not to even notice.

Also did the polar bear swim at college in NH.  Hardest part was standing on the ice beforehand waiting for my turn, not the actual plunge.

And kayaked in snow in March in New Hampshire/Vermont and went a'swimming unfortunately.  Don't think I've ever been as cold in my life as when I flipped and swam in Pennsylvania though - luckily near our hostel, so I just stood under the hot shower until I could get my fingers working enough to take off my gear, including life jacket.

But I'm going to keep my warm showers.  A cheap luxury to my way of thinking.

(Note your cold showers still cost water, unless you have well water?)

schimt

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Today I hit another "personal best" -- the shower water was 39.9 degrees, enough to kind of hurt. Though it makes the rest of life easier.

What are you using to measure the temperature of your shower water?

crumbcatcher

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My hot water heater is on its way out.  Maybe I will ease into the cold showers by going tepid first, then I can take a longer shower since my hot water runs out after 5 or so minutes anyway.

I have read good things about cold showers too, like helping with fat loss and depression. Neat to see a thread about this!

minimalist

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I take cold showers in the summer which keeps me cool after I'm done. I don't want to feel any colder in the winter, but kudos to you.

greenmimama

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Do you do this in the winter too? Do you live in a cold climate?  I have bad circulation and a hard time staying warm even when I am not in a hot shower, I am intrigued by the post though.

If it helps with all of those things it might be worth a try, I will have to do it in the summer though, I can't stomach it now.

MgoSam

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You've convinced me, will start taking colder showers.

rocksinmyhead

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Do you do this in the winter too? Do you live in a cold climate?  I have bad circulation and a hard time staying warm even when I am not in a hot shower, I am intrigued by the post though.

If it helps with all of those things it might be worth a try, I will have to do it in the summer though, I can't stomach it now.

this is what I'm worried about. my house has been about 60 degrees most of the time lately and I'm a freezebaby by nature. it seems like I'm just cold all. the. time. this winter.

definitely trying it in the summer, though! I imagine that the feeling of stepping out of an ice cold shower into an 80 degree house is delightful.

Elaine

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I don't take a cold shower to actually bathe, I find it impossible to shave my legs if I'm cold. But I do jump into a cold shower for a couple of minutes about 2-3 times a week. I started doing it after visiting a bath house in Korea, they do cold showers between various other hot whirlpools- and while it's much more superficial than your reasoning, I do it because it makes your skin look BEAUTIFUL. 

JoshuaSpodek

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Do you do this in the winter too? Do you live in a cold climate?  I have bad circulation and a hard time staying warm even when I am not in a hot shower, I am intrigued by the post though.

If it helps with all of those things it might be worth a try, I will have to do it in the summer though, I can't stomach it now.

I only started doing it in December, when I did thirty straight days of not touching the hot water faucet in the shower, plus a few times during a cold spell in the first weeks of January when the temperature got down to about 5 degrees F outside (inside it's around 67 degrees). Since then I've been deciding how often to do them since I don't want to take only cold showers forever. I've settled on doing them every fourth day, but might switch to every third. Still playing around with where to settle. Like my other SIDCHAs (self-imposed daily challenging healthy activities), I find I do them better when I make them automatic, not choose when I will or won't do them.

JoshuaSpodek

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I have also been doing cold showers, for a while now. It's crazy.

Right now in the middle of winter, running my head under the shower for 30 seconds causes light-headedness.

Isn't it awesome! It makes the rest of the day easier. I find putting the rest of the body in invigorating.

It has the same motivational pattern as exercising and many other activities: Long before you do it you think "No problem, however hard it seems, I'll will myself to do it and my willpower will make it easy." Just before you do it your mind goes crazy with excuses not to do it, to do it tomorrow, that not doing it is no big deal, and so on. Doing it is uncomfortable. At first you think "Holy shit, am I actually doing this?!? This is crazy!!". When you're almost done you think "That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought. The anticipation was worse than the experience." Then after you do it, the discomfort disappears immediately and you feel great for doing it.

How many great parts of life do we lose in this part: "Just before you do it your mind goes crazy with excuses not to do it, to do it tomorrow, that not doing it is no big deal, and so on. Doing it is uncomfortable."

Exercise, cold showers, meditation, SIDCHAs, and things like that develop the skill to overcome that creative avoidance.

JoshuaSpodek

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Today I hit another "personal best" -- the shower water was 39.9 degrees, enough to kind of hurt. Though it makes the rest of life easier.

What are you using to measure the temperature of your shower water?

A digital cooking thermometer put into a cup of water filled from the shower. I don't know how accurate it is or how to calibrate it. I use the lowest number I see, since the water starts warming up right away.

oldtoyota

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Now if I could just limit my hot showers in the winter I would be set lol.

I turned down the temperature on our hot water heater for this purpose! It shortened the amount of time that the hot water will last. Cut's down on gas and water bill, and time wasted in the shower

I did cold showers while in Central America. They were not for me, but I would adapt if I had no other choice. In the winter, I use warm showers to heat myself up since I keep the heat low. I get very cold despite wearing many layers, so I will probably stick with my warm showers (for now) as a way to thaw myself out.


mikecorayer

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I'm a big fan of taking cold showers and have been taking them just about every day for nearly 2 years now.  They cut heat use, and even better, reduce your water use as well.  Certainly no luxurious 15 minute showers in the winter!  In the summer I actually find myself missing the rush of a good cold shower, especially after a workout.  As Elaine mentioned, it's great for your skin (and also hair).  I actually put together a fairly detailed post on some of the benefits of cold exposure last winter (with links to research), and have still been going strong on cold showers ever since.   http://www.uncomfortableoptimist.com/how-to-implement-cold-therapy/

JoshuaSpodek

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I'm a big fan of taking cold showers and have been taking them just about every day for nearly 2 years now.  They cut heat use, and even better, reduce your water use as well.  Certainly no luxurious 15 minute showers in the winter!  In the summer I actually find myself missing the rush of a good cold shower, especially after a workout.  As Elaine mentioned, it's great for your skin (and also hair).  I actually put together a fairly detailed post on some of the benefits of cold exposure last winter (with links to research), and have still been going strong on cold showers ever since.   http://www.uncomfortableoptimist.com/how-to-implement-cold-therapy/

Thanks for the link. The last three sections resonated most with me. It's encouraging and gratifying to find others experiencing similar things.

mikecorayer

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Thanks Joshua,
    I was a bit hesitant to post a link to my own blog in my very first forum post (though I've been reading since finding this site a couple months ago) but after reading the thread I felt I had to, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.  It's always good to find others who don't mind intentionally putting a little discomfort in their lives.

oldtoyota

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All right, guys. I did not take a COLD shower, but I took one that was "less hot." I figure it's still better for me and for the environment to use less hot water even if I am still using some hot water....Maybe I will make it all the way....BRRRR....

ender

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Alrighty it's 11F outside today and probably maybe 65 in my place if I'm lucky but I'm so going to take a cold shower today.

This idea sounds great and I can 100% say everything you say here is "plausible." Plus I'm sick of spending so much time in the shower in the morning anyways, this is a great way to motivate myself to NOT do so :D

* enderland jumps on the bandwagon

HappierAtHome

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I am also on the bandwagon... after reading this thread I started having cold showers each morning and carried through all week (admittedly it's Summer in Aus!) and when I ran a hot shower yesterday to wash my hair and shave my legs, I found I couldn't tolerate a hot shower anymore. Went for lukewarm instead. Now I don't waste nearly as much time, electricity and water luxuriating in the shower.

anastrophe

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I think this sounds horrific. However, I will admit I abuse the hot water heater more than I should and will thus commit to lukewarm showers instead. Wussy, but it will be a challenge for me:/

JoshuaSpodek

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Alrighty it's 11F outside today and probably maybe 65 in my place if I'm lucky but I'm so going to take a cold shower today.

This idea sounds great and I can 100% say everything you say here is "plausible." Plus I'm sick of spending so much time in the shower in the morning anyways, this is a great way to motivate myself to NOT do so :D

* enderland jumps on the bandwagon

You're inspiring me!

JoshuaSpodek

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I think this sounds horrific. However, I will admit I abuse the hot water heater more than I should and will thus commit to lukewarm showers instead. Wussy, but it will be a challenge for me:/

Protecting the hot water heater isn't my main motivation, but when I think along those lines I don't think of the hot water heater I'm abusing, but the other people whose air I'm polluting. And the pollution I'm breathing, as is my asthmatic nephew, from people before.

anastrophe

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I think this sounds horrific. However, I will admit I abuse the hot water heater more than I should and will thus commit to lukewarm showers instead. Wussy, but it will be a challenge for me:/

Protecting the hot water heater isn't my main motivation, but when I think along those lines I don't think of the hot water heater I'm abusing, but the other people whose air I'm polluting. And the pollution I'm breathing, as is my asthmatic nephew, from people before.

Of course. I meant it as "abuse of a privilege," something that I should not use more than strictly necessary. If hot water is ever necessary, which I'm not sure it is.

Adam Zapple

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I'll occasionally take a cold shower if I'm feeling like an extreme cheapskate.  If you want to cheat you can always turn on the hot shower to quickly rinse, turn off the water completely while you soap up, then rinse quickly with hot water again.  You'll probably only run the water for a minute, tops.

ender

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Alrighty it's 11F outside today and probably maybe 65 in my place if I'm lucky but I'm so going to take a cold shower today.

This idea sounds great and I can 100% say everything you say here is "plausible." Plus I'm sick of spending so much time in the shower in the morning anyways, this is a great way to motivate myself to NOT do so :D

* enderland jumps on the bandwagon

I've been doing more lukewarm showers (which still feel super cold) but I think I do like it.

Definitely wakes you up that's for sure :) 

anastrophe

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This morning I skipped the full shower and just dunked my head in the cold water.

On my way to being a reformed showerholic. Don't laugh, it's a step in the right direction.

mikecorayer

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I forgot to mention that cold showers are also a key part of my preferred hangover remedy. Just a few minutes under cold-only water seems to really help reduce the headache and certainly gets me feeling more awake and alert (works better in the winter of course).

coconutpop

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I take only cold showers since 3 years.

I have started to see a lot of benefits after 2 months in.

Feeling better, better circulation, more energy and a lot more! Cold shower rocks!

I also do not use any soap or shampoo. Only water. Cold water.

DagobertDuck

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Took a cold shower this morning. Necessity; no hot water (rental).
Felt pretty good actually.

alsoknownasDean

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I've tried reducing the temperature in the shower towards the end. I've managed fine with the hot tap almost off, but not quite completely off (yet).

Maybe I'll just keep it coldish all the way next time, it feels awesome on a hot day :)

aj_yooper

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Finn Yoopers often do a sauna (over 160 degrees) and then jump in a snow bank or a cold lake.  It feels like your heart is coming through your chest and the snow just slides off your body.  I've also done a sauna and then a cold plunge pool.  But you are badassity itself to do cold showers all the time.  I take a short warm shower and call it done.

I'm a red panda

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I've taken cold showers when the water heater is out, but I would usually turn the water off except for the exact moments I've needed them.

Since we still use the water heater, it seems like I'm still paying to heat the water, I might as well use it.  (I don't have tankless.)

Cold showers are not free- our water bill is atrocious despite having the lowest consumption possible to be billed.  If I really wanted to save money it seems the way to go would be to skip showers.


I tried to convince my husband of this, and tell him to shower at the gym instead of when he gets home- but since he pointed out our water consumption is in the lowest level we are being billed for the water whether we use it or not, might as well use it.

JoshuaSpodek

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I noticed a few people commenting how they don't heat their house air as much but take hot showers to make up for it.

I wonder if anyone has calculated the relative energy use. My first thought of Q = m c deltaT suggests that if the mass of the water in a five-minute shower is greater than the air heated the rest of the day, you use more energy in the shower, but I'm not sure that's the best equation to use.

I saw a BBC show where they powered a house for a day with people riding bikes connected to generators. By far the biggest draw was when a resident took a shower. Ah, found it -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C93cL_zDVIM (the full episode is somewhere too). Major power use.

beee

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I do contrast showers:
If you want to feel 200% more bad-ass, then take contrast shower every time you shower.
It's totally worth it, try next time during your shower:
- your normal shower routine
- then make water as hot as you can stand for 2-3 minutes
- then to as cold as the shower goes for a minute or two
- then repeat hot-cold cycle 2-3 times, always end with cold water

If you're already doing this, then bad news, you won't be able to easily increase your bad-assity by 200%.
If you're afraid of stepping into cold water, then don't be. Your body will be quite prepared after hot water, and c'mon try it first, we all on this forum try to be more bad-ass, right?
--
from http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/contrast-shower-another-tool-for-your-bad-assity-arsenal/msg543355/#msg543355

DagobertDuck

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Strategy you describe costs 4 - 9 minutes of hot water every time you shower.
Showering costs approximately 4 ct/min.
So cost per shower = 16 to 36 ct.
= 58 to 131 $/year

beee

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Strategy you describe costs 4 - 9 minutes of hot water every time you shower.
Showering costs approximately 4 ct/min.
So cost per shower = 16 to 36 ct.
= 58 to 131 $/year