Have you ever heard about feeling people get at the gym called the “pump”. It’s when your blood is flowing and you feel like you can take on the world. Well there is a way you can experience that same exact feeling without even having to workout.
You can get the same endorphin rush and euphoria that can put you into a productive state of mind without the sweat and time commitment of a full blown workout. Of course though it does involve some mental fortitude and the ability to convince yourself to stand or bath in cold water for a few minutes every day.
As someone who was once a habitual procrastinator I am always on the lookout for life hacks that I can try to stave off the procrastination monster. Recently I discovered something called “Cold Therapy” and advocates of it say that cold showers are a great way to spike your energy, productivity, and immune system. You can read more about the benefits to cold showers here.
A hot shower in the morning is one my FAVORITE things and it’s hard to imagine how I could do this to myself. Who the hell wants to start their day with their teeth chattering and freezing water on their bare skin.
So for the sake of science I set a 30 Day Cold Water Knockout Challenge on this blog. 2 minutes a day of cold showers. Here is how it went.
Days 1 -10: Screw This
From day one I dreaded stepping into the shower, but I set my phone alarm for 2 minutes and jumped my ass in.
You know how when you start a workout you kind of ease into it. This is like extreme intensity from the very start. It felt like I had stepped out of bed and when I opened the bathroom door I had a drill sergeant screaming in my face telling me to start doing hill climbs.
I couldn’t even do this completely. I had to jump in and out of the cold water stream. Luckily I have a big shower so it’s easy to step in and out of the water. I found myself intensely closing my eyes, hugging one arm around my chest and cupping my penis with my other hand.
My senses were all on high alert and my brain activity was completely gone. I was occupied by one thought and one thought only “holy crap this is effing cold”.
All that was just the first 10 seconds.
The 20 seconds were even worse when I realized that this is self-inflicted. What the hell am I doing?
After about 30 seconds my body adapted and I began to feel less like a prisoner getting bathed with a fire house. Don’t get me wrong it was cold, but I could muddle enough energy to get the shampoo into my hands without the bottle falling on the floor from my incessant shaking. Don’t get me wrong it was still freezing.
The first 10 days of actually showing in the cold, completely sucked. I couldn’t wait for the alarm to go off. I was like a kid on the last day of school just dying for the final bell to ring, so I could run out the doors.
Getting out of the shower and drying off way the best part. Eyes bulging out of my head, chest beat red and pulsating like I just bench pressed a small pony. Any feeling of that “morning fog” I woke up with was completely gone.
The feeling of alertness and energy stayed with me for about an hour. At the point I sort of came back down to a normal energy state where I could eat breakfast and relax a bit. This the exact way I felt after doing P90X for 90 days in 2011, except this only took me 2 minutes in the shower.
Days 11-20: I’m Sold on Cold
Somewhere around 2 weeks into the challenge I didn’t feel like a Navy Seal any longer. I actually started liking the cold shower. It’s not the actual shower itself that I liked, but it was the great feeling I knew that was coming afterward. I can tolerate about 120 seconds of cold to get myself to this feeling of euphoria upon completion.
Even looking at my phase in the mirror before and after the shower I could physically see the benefits. Pre-shower I was looking tired in the eyes, post shower looked like you stabbed me with an adrenaline shot and gave me double espresso.
It was here that I started to realize some of the “cold therapy’ benefits. I felt more equipped to take on obstacles during the day. After all, what could you possibly give me that sucks more than a freezing cold shower. I felt like starting my morning with something so arduous, everything else is gonna be easy.
Days 21-30: Insane is My new Normal
By the wrap up of the 30 days, I no longer needed to use psychological tricks to get myself into the shower. No more reminding myself of the benefits or having to thrust myself in and out of the stream of cold water. I just did it, because I understood that 2 minutes is a small sacrifice for the immediate gratification I get when it’s done.
Off Schedule Showers
Since I had so much luck with the morning showers I tried taking showers at some different times of the day. I found them to be great in the afternoon. It’s like getting a swift kick in the ass when your after lunch fog is just about to take over and make you the most unproductive human being on earth.
The 30 Day Cold Shower Knockout Challenge is definitely a great consideration if you are a person who can’t get yourself going in the morning. As for me I’ve been steady doing cold showers every day and I don’t anticipate stopping any time soon.
Have you tried the cold shower knockout challenge? You can read more about it here.
If you have done it please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.