Tips for ladies who want to take cold showers
Believe it or not, there are a number of proven benefits to incorporating cold showers into your daily routine.

In today’s day and age when we have power and electricity at the push of a button, why might we want to revert back to taking an icy cold shower? It may not seem like the most productive of activities, but we can assure you that studies have shown that regular cold showers can have a positive influence on your physical and mental health.

While hot showers have their own list of benefits such as helping muscles to relax, reducing stiffness, and relieving migraines, cold showers have a whole different set of benefits you could be experiencing by incorporating a new cold shower into your week.

So, what are some of the potential health benefits of a cold shower?

1. Weight Loss stimulation: Not all fat is created equal. When you take a cold shower, brown fat (the good fat) is activated, resulting in an increase in energy and calories burned to keep your body warm. According to one study, cold temperatures can increase brown fat by 15X the normal amount, which can result in 9 lbs/4 kg of weight loss per year.

2. Cold Showers Improve Circulation: Alternating between hot and cold water while you shower improves circulation. Coldwater causes your blood to move to your organs to keep them warm. Warm water causes the refreshed blood to move towards the surface of the skin.

3. Strengthens Immunity: In a study by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, individuals who took daily cold showers saw an increase in the number of virus-fighting white blood cells compared to those who took hot showers. Another study in the Netherlands showed a cold shower resulted in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness absence.

4. Energised Breathing: Step into a cold shower and the first thing you are going to do is take a big deep breath, giving you an oxygen rush and a massive boost of energy! The boost of energy can be a healthy alternative to a morning coffee that will kick your physiology into another gear.

5. Cold Showers May Help Relieve Depression: Cold showers stimulate what is known as “the blue spot,” which is the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline – a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression. Studies suggest the mild electroshock delivered to the brain by the cold shower sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.

6. Reduce Stress: Along with increasing your adaptation to stressful situations, research suggests the cold will lower levels of uric acid, and boost levels of Glutathione in your blood – making you less stressed in general.

7. They’ll Improve Your Skin & Hair: Ice cold water can help our skin by preventing it from losing too many natural oils. It also helps your hair appear shiny, strong & healthy by keeping the follicles flat and increasing their grip on the scalp.

8. Increases Fertility for Men: If you’re trying to become a dad, cold showers are good for your little swimmers. Your testes aren’t meant to get too hot; that’s why they hang outside your body. Sperm counts decrease when the temperature of a man’s testes increases, and vice-versa when they’re cold.

9. Builds Strong Will Power! Doing something you are resistant to, every single day, right when you wake up, takes a lot of mental strength. And over time this mental strength and discipline will become an automated habit that echoes into every area of your life.

10. They wake you up but they also put you to sleep: Somewhat counterintuitively, while cold showers wake you up in the morning, cold therapy is also one of the best ways to get an incredible night’s sleep. Studies suggest that cooling the brain of those with insomnia reduced the amount of time it took them to fall asleep and increased the amount of sleep they got, bringing their results in line with the participants who did not have insomnia.

Tips for ladies who want to take cold showers

Here are the lessons for you, if you’re a woman who wants to start taking cold showers. Then, I’ll give you the results of having cold showers every day for just shy of a month.

When you first begin, start taking cold showers after you’re already sweaty.

It sounds really counterproductive, but after 30 days – some days where I exercised first thing, and others where I’ve showered straight out of bed – it’s easier to have a cold shower when your heart is already pounding.

This is partly because you’re already in a different state, and so it’s less of a shock. When you’re just out of bed, you’re all warm and relaxed and sleepy. Getting into cold water makes your body wake the fuck up. Fast. So, be kind to yourself for the first week or so and exercise first thing every day, and then shower after you’re done.

You can’t just get into a 3-minute-long cold shower on the first day

Or the first week, come to that.

No matter how powerful your willpower, the idea that you will have a full-length, cold shower is just a myth. It’s also almost impossible. To make it easier on yourself, prepare your body first. Coat yourself with a bit of a layer of cold water. Then inch into the shower and wash yourself quickly. Rinse off, and you’re done.

Boom – you’ve had your first cold shower. It took you 30 seconds, you’re very clean, you’ve saved a ton of water, and you can celebrate that you even did it!

Over time, your showers will get longer. At this end of thirty days, I can get straight into the cold shower, and can stand in a stream of cold water, and have a less panicked kind of a wash.

But doing that 20 days ago? You’re dreaming, mate.

Your warm bits are not like men’s warm bits and are not comparable

When you coat your body, you need to coat your warm bits. That those warm bits often mentioned in articles written by men are your head, your private parts, your arms, and your legs.

Ladies, I’m here to tell you that your warmest bits are your belly and the small of your back. This stands to reason: Your plumbing is some of the most complex anatomies. It has a significant blood flow. Its temperature changes throughout the month. And you feel it in the low part of your belly and the low part of your back. It’s generally hotter just before your period than it is just after your period.

Seriously, getting your lady parts wet isn’t a problem. Getting your lower back cold and wet? That’s difficult straight out of a warm bed, especially when you are pre-menstrual.

Getting the small of your back wet is harder than getting your tits wet, or your bum wet, or even the top of your head wet!

So, persevere, ladies!

Cold showers after sex can be punishing, so be prepared

One thing I hadn’t expected was how difficult it would be to have that first, post-sex shower. All that activity going on inside your body? It makes for lots of blood flow in your belly and your back. Its heat means that the cold water will make you fairly leap out of your skin.

There is also no delicate way to say that sex is a lot messier for women than it is for men. So if you have a male partner, be prepared for that. You can’t skimp over it, because it’s unhealthy: You have to get yourself clean. Think about how you’re going to handle this. I’m not kidding, it’s a really big deal. It’s an even bigger deal if you’re a particularly wet kinda lady, or you’re not using barrier protection like condoms.

Throughout the past month, for which my goal has been one cold shower a day, I didn’t feel so bad if I wanted to cheat on a second shower and make it warmer. Of course, this won’t help you if you have sex first thing in the morning. All you can do in that situation (which I have also been in) is remember that it’s supposed to be cold, and you’ll be done soon.

If you’ve got beauty things to do, find a way around it

Men don’t typically use their shower time to do things like facial scrubs, leg shaving, private part shaving, under-arm shaving (etc). Women very often do. So, if you’re going to start having cold showers, you can’t simultaneously neglect your beauty routine. What that will do is turn you into a head-to-toe rug very fast and you’ll stop wearing pretty skirts.

The key is to prepare and find a way around it. Here’s how I did it.

First, I shaved my legs outside of the shower. Then this was a royal pain in the arse and took way longer than I wanted to spend on something cosmetic.

So, I went back to the shower. But instead of shaving in a cold shower, I had a warm shower, did the shaving I needed to do, then turned the shower cold.

Eventually, I could do the shaving in a cold shower. Remember Baby steps. It’s important to do whatever you can and still have a cold shower at some stage than it is to avoid it altogether.

It gets harder at Day 10 and Day 17

The two most difficult days for me in this cold shower thing were days 10 and 17. Don’t ask me why. It must have something to do with the fact that I had achieved a week of this new thing and was past the novelty. At around day 10, it becomes something you have to do, and without noticing, your thinking shifts. Suddenly you’re hating the idea of this stupid, cold shower.

And then, on Day 17, I found myself actively avoiding it. I had a shower late in the morning. Putting it off was worse because after the shower I felt amazing!

Your difficult days might fall on different days. For me, the two most difficult were these two, and they were critical points for me. Getting through and past them caused the most amazing joy, and it’s simply become easier.

Cold showers are not bad for you

The internet will confirm any bias that you have. This means that if you believe that being cold is bad for you, then the internet will confirm your bias. The truth is quite different.

Cold showers do all kinds of amazing things. They teach your body how to deal with small stresses, and over time it improves your immunity. For me personally, some things I’ve noticed are:

  • better moods, in general, even when tired or hungry

  • better circulation

  • better body image

  • improved hair growth (which, for someone with alopecia, is not an insignificant thing! I have hair where I never used to have hair)

  • better skin tone

  • better eye tone

  • more energy

  • better breathing

  • better sleep.

Pro tip: If you decide to start cold showers, start in winter. That way, rather than your year getting colder and more uncomfortable, you’ll be used to the process and will celebrate when the weather warms up. It’s counter-intuitive, but trust me on this one. It would have been way easier! Ha!

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