This post is part of the 21 Days to a Manlier Green series
I love a good long shower. Like many people, I have great ideas while in the shower – well, I’d like to think my ideas are great. Long showers, however, may be one of my biggest environmental sins. I love a long, hot shower. Doesn’t everyone?
Long showers waste water though. During my two years in West Africa, I bathed from a bucket, using a large cup to pour water over my body. While not the most relaxing way of bathing, I was able to stay clean with a minimal amount of water.
Now being back home in the U.S., I forego bucket baths and opt for the shower.
How do I limit my shower time? Cold showers. I have showers but I force myself to endure the cold. Cold showers are, however, not a selfless act in favor of saving the environment. I take cold showers because they build my will power, improve my health, increase my testosterone, and are a shock to my system that wakes me up in the morning.
Into the Cold
Why are cold showers good for you? There is a wealth of literature showing that cold showers improve blood circulation, improve immune strength, increase testosterone, and improve your mood. When we are stressed our bodies generate a metabolic support team to help us cope with the stress. These stressors could include sickness, danger, physical activity, and more. These chemicals and helper cells (testosterone,T helper cells, lymphocytes, noradrenaline…) our bodies release help us to combat the stress and survive.
Cold showers shock your system and trick a release of protective chemicals, giving you all the benefits while not actually having to be subjected to harm.
Overall, I consider myself to be a morning person. Yet, I still welcome an extra boost of energy in the morning. Warm showers might be soothing and relaxing, but they are more likely to zap your energy. Warm showers before bed are actually recommended for people who have trouble falling asleep! Not something you want in the morning, especially if you struggle with the start of the day.
A cold shower is a kick in the pants and lets you know very well that you are alive.
Cold showers improve my willpower. I really don’t like cold showers. I find them uncomfortable. Yet, the simple act of forcing myself to take a cold shower is a pledge to my willpower. “I can do this. I am strong. It is just some cold water. F***!”
Tip: Start with a regular warm shower and as you shower, slowly turn the water colder and colder. Or, once you have bathed, crank the water to cold for a blast of cold water. You don’t have to shower the whole time in cold water to receive the benefits of a cold shower.
Take a cold shower. Save some energy. Save some water. Shock your system and prime yourself to conquer the day.