Change your body, change your mindset: Join our Cold Shower Challenge

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If you asked me at this time last summer to take cold showers I would have laughed at you. For most of my life I’ve LOVED hot water. Hot showers, hot drinks. I loved the soothing nature of warm water.

Cold water? Not so much. It took me FOREVER to get into the pool in the summer on a cold morning or to dunk my head underwater when boating on a lake in the midwest.

Despite my husband’s encouragement and insistence of the benefits of cold showers, I never budged. He’s taken cold showers for years and on 90 degree days in our 750 square foot house with the world’s tiniest shower last July, he begged me to try and chill it out.

Nope.

It wasn’t until February - yes February where we saw some of the coldest days of the year here in the Pacific Northwest - that I finally tried the cold showers. During our Embrace the Cold theme for Spears Strong Outdoor Motivational (walking) Sessions we did a cold shower challenge with about a dozen Spears Strongers. The motivation of the group, my new attitude toward embracing the cold and inspiration from sources like Wim Hof helped me to see the value in cold showers.

Breaking up the monotony of daily routines and changing our regular environment is the key to finding another tool towards success in life.
— Jonathan Spears

And it stuck. I now take 3-4 cold showers a week and every shower I take ends with a cold rinse. I also cannot stand a hot shower and if I take a warm shower it’s usually luke warm- a huge change from the past when I could never seem to get the water quite hot enough.

It might seem weird to take cold showers and you might wondering why. But I challenge you to ask yourself why not? And ask yourself why do you take hot or warm showers? Why do you fear or detest the cold? Is it a real concern or is it an embedded belief instilled in us since childhood? Cold = bad. But, in fact, our bodies are designed for ALL the elements and if we are always staying in the zone of comfort, we risk hurting our health, both mentally and physically.

I challenge you to join our 10-day Spears Strong Cold Shower Challenge and see for yourself. A few points that everyone in the last cold shower challenge agreed on:

  1. It gets easier.

  2. The hardest part is getting the motivation to take the cold shower, not the shower itself.

  3. Start warm and end cold (do a cold rinse).

  4. It boosts energy.

  5. Skin feels better.

  6. Mood improves (change your body, change your mind)

“Showers are usually refreshing, but even more so with a cold rinse at the end,” says Spears Stronger Ellen Folley. “Day 1: I was dreading it. Day 10: I was looking forward to it!

Some Spears Strongers suggested singing in the shower to calm yourself down. The key to the cold shower success is not to shiver or freak out. To get the benefits of a cold shower -reduced anxiety/increased energy - you must stay calm. When you feel the need to shiver, breathe into it and tell your body to relax. This is not about being extreme either so ease into it. Start warm and gradually go colder and colder.

“Each day it was easier to stay longer in the cold water,” says Spears Stronger Charline Wright. “I would start hot but found I did not like it as hot as I did before the cold shower rinse.”

Our 10-day Cold Shower Challenge stats Monday, July 22. Are you in?

Email spears@spearsstrong.com or see me at the lab for more information! This cold shower challenge is solely for fun and life experience (no cost or official sign-up required).

Shelby Spears is a Health Coordinator at Spears Strong with a background in journalism. Read more about here here.

DISCLAIMER: Cold exposure has the potential for adverse health effects. Please consult a doctor before participating if you are under the care of a physician for any medical condition. Spears Strong exercises are performed at your own risk. Guidance from a Spears Strong leader is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a licensed professional.