You know, I’ve always hated cold showers. Even using water at room temperature, my skin would frost over and I would be out in seconds. I had always thought that cold showers meant a cold day. And being a cold, shivering mess does not exactly lend itself well to productivity.
However, as of late I have started taking cold showers. It’s been a month so far, and I won’t drone on and on about the statistics until you fall dead but I will share my personal experiences; how I’ve felt actually under the water and why I think most prefer to take hot showers.
Why do we really like hot showers?
For me, it’s quite simple. Whenever I can’t sleep, my parents are always like, “Go take a quick hot shower and come back. You’ll sleep faster.” From what I know, everyone takes hot showers because they feel less stressed and more relaxed. We feel like this is what life really is. Standing in a hot shower is undoubtedly the biggest milestone humans have reached….
But this is where the downfall begins. While hot showers make you less stressed, you’re gonna eventually feel tired. Your goal of taking a hot shower to make yourself more productive has just taken a complete u-turn arrow. By relieving body tension, your body automatically becomes extremely tired and you’ll end up feeling like binging YouTube than finishing up your report on why the earth is flat (I’m not a flat earther don’t worry!). Hot showers can also cause skin problems such as drying them up, itching (I thought that mosquitoes loved me. I guess that’s not true anymore… 😭), and can increase blood pressure.
If you’re sick and have a cold or any other respiratory symptoms, then take a hot shower. It’ll open your airways and clear out your nasal passages. Cold showers might make that worse so be careful!
When I took hot showers, not only was the water being wasted but my time as well. Whenever I get in that shower, you gotta wait at least half an hour just for me to come out. Isn’t that insane!?!?!?
Since we like being relaxed and less stressed, we wanna stay in this state for a longer period of time. But what happens is that we stay for so long that we end up wasting our time. I remember 3 years ago that I went to a water treatment plant for First Lego League and they were talking about how much water we really use. I remember that they said,
“We use almost 80L for a 10-minute shower.”
And I was literally shocked. Do you also know that we use 10L every single time we flush the toilet? 10L!!!!! And that we waste almost 50L of water everyday? This is literally outrageous. Our current method of water utilization is TERRIBLE. If I shower once everyday and flush the toilet at least 5 times, I’m spending almost 2500L on hygiene every single freaking week! Am I saving the world by using that much water every week? NO! Will poverty rates and water access rates decrease when I waste literally 50% of the water that I don’t even need. NO! So why do we really take cold showers then? Our feelings of relaxation won’t be eternal. They’re going to die as soon as I step out of the shower.
Look, I’m not saying that you should completely get rid of your hot showers but at least think about the impact you’re making when doing them. And this is why I started taking colder showers: it prevents me from staying so long in the shower every week.
A cold approach to cold showers
Yes, hot showers relax yourselves which results in less stress. But what if you feel stressed again. You’re gonna have to take a hot shower again. But what if there’s no hot water? What do you do then? In terms of stress, cold showers impose a small amount of stress on your body. This helps lead to a process known as hardening (I think the name says it all. Your body becomes more resistant to stress). Since you’re practicing stress on your body, it’ll get used to it and you’ll be able to handle stress better. You’ll have a cool head the next time you’re in a stressful situation.
You’ll also be more alert. By stimulating yourself to take in deeper breaths, your CO2 levels will decrease which will help your goal of concentrating better. Science has also had something to say on it: taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body. That'll help your body protect itself from viruses and diseases due to having an increased metabolic rate. For all you lazy people (including myself) open up your 👂 because here's 2 points that you’d want to tune in to (I know that I’m so funny, no need to email me to say that 😉😁😂):
Taking a colder shower increases your willpower. It takes a strong mind to endure the cold for long periods of time. Likewise, having a strong mind will let you sit for longer periods of time and not close your laptop when your friend asks if you can go biking with them (make sure your social distancing (as of July 2020)!). Also, YOU LOOSE WEIGHT.
I’m not lying 😂. Google it! Colder showered increase your metabolic rate which stimulates the generation of brown fat (I’m not a science geek, google it!). Brown fat is a special type of fat that generates energy by burning calories. Since colder showers stimulate this, you’ll literally be burning calories by standing.
Don’t stay too long in the shower. you’ll freeze
I stay in the shower for 5–10 minutes. Ideally, you should be in for this long. Stay longer and you could end up catching a cold. One more thing that you’d want to note is that you also don’t want to turn that knob all the way down. You’ll get sick for sure. I started at lukewarm water. From there, I turned the tap slightly down just to make sure it doesn’t become too cold. Everyone’s different so do what you feel is good for you. Just don’t bring that tap all the way down or you will wake up the next day with an unwanted result.
Take cold showers. Don’t make it too cold, adjust it to your needs. Spend only 5–10 minutes. Don’t go above or below that.
Until next time!