I’ve been doing this new thing in the shower for the past two weeks and it is a remarkable feeling. By the time I turn off the water, I am more alert and clear-headed… and all before I have my first sip of coffee.
I recently read an article in Entrepreneur magazine entitled 7 Insanely Productive Habits of Successful Young Entrepreneurs by Michael Simmons, and one of the 7 things listed is taking a contrast shower. When I first read this, i scoffed. I am a hot shower guy, unless it’s insanely hot and I am dripping in sweat. Otherwise, hot water is relaxing, calming, and an all around nice way to start the day.
I’m a good sport, and a little glutton for punishment, so I thought I’d give it a try… and WOW! It’s a real eye-opener! I’ve done it both at home and at the gym after a morning workout, and it’s incredibly effective. The cold-hot-cold temperature switch gets my blood pumping and even makes me feel a bit more positive in attitude.
In fact, there’s research to support the positive health effects of a cold shower. On his blog, “Getting Stronger“, Todd Becker lays out some of the physiological benefits, including:
Not only are they physically invigorating, they make you feel alive, vital and ready to take on the day. They stimulate thinking early in the morning. I also believe that they have the effect of slightly raising blood glucose very quickly — by perhaps 10 mg/dl, and thereby have an appetite suppressing effect.
I start by taking a normal shower with hot water, then, I switch over to cold for as long as I can stand it. Then, I go back to hot for about 20-30 seconds, then, back to cold for as long as I can stand before turning off the water. It’s amazing how completely refreshed I feel after this.
We all want more clarity, right? We all want to feel less dependent on our morning caffeine addiction, right? If you’re like me and at least nodded a “yes”, give this a try. Let me know how it works for you.