As many of you already know, for more than nine years, I’ve been exploring, discovering and exposing myself to the cold, from religiously taking cold showers every morning to enjoying weekly plunges in an icebath. And having the privilege of teaching, training and helping people how to use the cold, breath and mind as an empowering tool.
What Is the DARE-to-win challenge?
Take a cold shower each morning for a minimum of 30-seconds for 7-days. Ideally, the water will be around 60°F (15°C) or less.
Why Should I Do It?
For most of human history, people only bathed in cold water. Additionally, taking a dip in freezing cold water was part of many daily routines & spiritual practices to improve health & vitality around the world from Finland to Japan.
As we get older, many of us structure our lives simply to feel “comfortable”. You have a cushy bed with a cushy pillow, cushy covers, then you sit on a cushy couch. Many of us are focused on how to maximize comfort, not how to maximize our impact and potential.
Cold showers can help immensely to quieten that little disempowering voice in the back of your head that is focused on fear, uncertainty and doubt. Simply put, cold showers can help you unleash your awesome unlimited potential.
Physical discomfort is a part of life. It’s unavoidable. By not freaking out when you feel discomfort – or even embracing it – you become much more resilient to stress. This is the most important reason why I do cold showers every morning along with improved energy and focus. By doing something that’s unpleasant and uncomfortable first thing in the morning, it builds a mindset for me of gratitude, resilience, and confidence. I respond to stress rather than reacting to it. Studies also suggest cold showers have an anti-depressive affect.
Boost Immune System
Given that cold showers could help you handle mental and physical stress, it’s not surprising that studies suggest cold showers may also benefit your immune system. Scientific evidence shows that combining cold water therapy, breathing, and meditation helps participants produce more anti-inflammatory chemicals and fewer pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to their infections.
Taking cold showers forces the body to generate heat by increasing metabolism, which maintains a stable core body temperature. This means taking cold showers increases the number of calories you are burning each day, but exactly how much is not yet known. In addition, cold exposure activates brown fat cells, which burn body fat. If you are on a weight loss program, even a small increase in metabolism should only help.
There is a laundry list of purported cold shower benefits including decreasing inflammation, strengthening your cardiovascular system with better blood flow, and even higher testosterone (learn more about the science).
Tips for Making The Challenge Easier
To ease your faabulous entry into cold exposure, enjoy these suggestions for making your experience a little more gentle.
Focus On Your Breathing
When you step into a cold shower, your first response may be to gasp or yell, then tighten up your body and start shivering. In other words, you’re freaking out. Instead, just relax and breathe deeply and slowly. Keep your body open, relaxed, and moving slowly. This is not easy and I certainly bug out when I first get in from time to time, but then I slow down my breathing and embrace the cold.
Warm Shower Into Cold Shower
For most people, going straight into a cold shower will be really challenging. Instead, you can start off with a warm shower, then transition to cold for 60-seconds. This is what I recommend. While full cold may be difficult especially during the winter, that’s the goal.
Build this cold water challenge into your morning routine.
When Do I Start?
Consider starting this Monday for a full 7-days. Sooner rather than later, better late than never.
How are you doing? Share your results on Instagram (tag @faabulousstuff). Each month I’ll choose a lucky winner of a free Wim Hof fundamental workshop. An icebath is even more challenging than a cold shower 🙂
Win a free spot in my next WIM HOF fundamental workshop!
I dare you, win win!
which benefits are you enjoying?
In these last years, I can count the number of times I’ve missed a cold shower – or cold water immersion instead – on both hands. No matter where I’ve traveled or how I’ve felt, I’ve done cold showers. I really appreciate the benefits, and would love to see more people also enjoying this simple-yet-so-effective tool.