2-MONTH 2-MINUTE HOT-COLD SHOWER CHALLENGE
This article was originally posted on HigherDose.com
Use your routine daily shower as an opportunity to revitalize your health, boost your energy and increase your mental and physical stamina—all with the simplest turn of a temperature nozzle. Well, not necessarily simple. Going from a steamy-hot shower to an icy-cold blast requires grit. Sustaining that icy-cold blast for maximum benefits requires endurance.
There’s nothing like a hot-cold shower first thing in the morning. Forget caffeine, you’ve got nature’s coffee. An icy a.m. rinse gives you an energy jolt that lasts, putting an extra vigor in your step throughout the day. Because the spike of cold surprises the body, oxygen intake and heart rate increases, which leads to a more focused, more enthusiastic state. Plus, it shocks the nervous system, triggering a feel-good release of the brain’s happiness chemicals dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins—getting you high, naturally. You don’t need a chill pill, just a totally chilled shower.
As our happiness chemicals ignite, hormones responsible for depressive and stressed moods (such as cortisol) decrease. This awakening mind-body sensation ups productivity and efficiency.
A hot-cold shower leaves you refreshed, energized, pleasantly buzzed and full of confidence—enhance your cold-water endurance, enhance these healthy, feel-good effects. Cold showers are hard! But as you tackle this challenge, second by second, you’ll feel more and more emboldened along the way.
The goal of our 2-Month 2-Minute Hot-Cold Shower Challenge
To gradually acclimate, over a two-month timeframe, the length of cold-water immersion. Target time: two full minutes. Target result: immediate and long-term overall health improvements, zero extra time taken out your day, zero cost.
As the cold rushes over the body, blood rushes closer to the inner organs to keep them warm. This experience increases overall blood circulation, spurring an energetic jolt and stimulating an array of health benefits. To name a few:
- Increasing the rate of detoxification
- Moving nutrients more readily to various parts of the body
- Relieves muscle soreness
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps burn fat
- Restores, rejuvenates and brightens skin
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Improves recovery
- At the end of your hot shower, go for it.
- Start with a few seconds, when those few seconds feel a hint of comfort, add a few more. And so on. Maybe 10 seconds for an entire week and 15 the next week, or 5 seconds one day and 7 seconds the next—your shower, your seconds.
- Go straight from hot to cold or from hot to chilly to cold—whatever the technique, it’s the action that matters.
- Create a best practice that’s best for you: daily, on a designated schedule or sporadically, setting a breakdown of time goals, weekly or bi-weekly—whatever the cadence, maintain consistency.
- Decide how to work the challenge on your own terms.
- Keep in mind that no cold is too cold. The coldest of coldest water cannot hurt you. Your resistance, which will decrease over the period of this challenge, is just that—resistance. The more you confront the experience, the less frigid and uncomfortable it becomes.
- We’re here for motivation along the way.
- No shower? No problem. Submerge yourself in a cold pool, the ocean or even winter air.
- At our new HigherDOSE Winter Spa, indulge in an array of hot-cold stimulations—infrared sauna, bar, outdoor oasis space, cryo facial and more. During your infrared sauna DOSE, step out into the cold and back into the heat for hot-cold contrast throughout your session.
- DOSE tip: take your sauna session up a notch by turning down the temperature of your post-session rinse off—after your next infrared sauna session (or after using your infrared Sauna Blanket), jump straight into a cold shower.