The Secret to Energizing Your Day? Crank the Cold Tap
A morning shower is sacred. It’s that one time of day when no one can bother you. Which is why the following may come as a shock to you: Before the final rinse, you might want to crank up the cold water. That’s right — an icy blast may hold benefits for your body and soul.
We’ll talk about what science knows so far about cold showers so you can use them to kick-start your day.
Energy: When water from the cold tap hits your skin, your body kicks into gear. Your heart hammers and your lungs heave to take in giant breaths of air. Cold water gets your system humming. By the time you’re toweled off and dressed for the day, you still may be feeling shivery. But you’ll also be feeling jazzed and energized.
Willpower: When you’re dealing with that shock of cold water, it’s all you can do to stop yourself from reaching forward and grabbing the faucet so you can get back to that nestled-in-your-quilt feeling of warmth. When the cold activates your nervous system, cortisol production kicks in. That’s the stress hormone. (This explains that feeling of anticipatory dread you may feel just before you crank up the cold tap!) But after a moment or so, the stress subsides and a feeling of relaxation takes its place.
Mood: If you wake up in a foul mood, an early a.m. version of the ice bucket challenge may be akin to hitting the reset button. During a cold shower, it’s impossible to think of anything else in your life in that moment. If a problem is plaguing you, there’s nothing quite like cold water to propel you into the present.
Health: A blast of icy water can also make you feel healthier. A recent study in the Netherlands showed that people who took cold showers for 30 seconds a day logged fewer sick days than those who stuck to their warm shower routines. The subjects weren’t necessarily healthier. But one possibility raised by the researchers is that this energizing blast was enough to help people “push through” their minor malaise and get through the day.
For seven days, challenge yourself to a cool-water finish to your shower. You may be surprised by how good you feel.
You know what else feels good? Keeping your shower space clean and organized. With tools from Better Living, that feat is easier to accomplish.