More testosterone. Faster muscle recovery. Stronger immune system. Increased caloric consumption. Destruction of depression. Lipid annihilation. Deep sleep activation. Hardcore momentary testicular shrinkage.
What can freezing cold showers and baths NOT do for us?
It’s been about 5 years now that I’ve been using freezing cold showers as a means to make myself more badass. I’ve not been completely consistent because I tend to do them for 6 months or so, attain a certain level of badassery, then allow the allure of the warm shower to finally suck away at my soul to a point where I can no longer resist it. The warm shower is the like the One Ring from the Lord of the Rings. I’m a much more handsome version of Golem but as we all know, good looks don’t exactly equal willpower and in the end, I always fall prey to that hot shower.
There was a period in my life where that wasn’t an option…
My wife and I had begun homesteading on our property in the Pacific Northwest. At first, it was a big priority to get ourselves a hot shower at least once a week (and that was cutting back from once a day before we moved out there). As time dragged on and finances waned, it quickly turned into one bath in a river once a week. The warmth was taken from us by our own ambition to live off grid and be self sufficient. As we got closer and closer to our goal of completing a suitable shelter for the coming winter, we had less and less time for such conveniences as baths. It turned into one bath in that same river every two weeks and eventually one every three weeks. That continued to stretch out as the river got colder and colder as winter approached.
That being our first time conducting that level of construction and grading on an untouched mountain property, we found ourselves behind schedule to a point where we knew we had to make other plans. Enter our winter trip idea. We bought a cab-over camper and lo and behold, traveled the lower western States for the next 5 months. The cold baths got colder.
Not so pressed for time anymore, we could easily commit to more bath time. We did. Fortunately for us, the water was colder than crap. This kept us lean, mean, horny, and hey, who doesn’t want to be all three of those at one time?
Experts have been preaching the benefits of cold water immersion for a long time now. Benefits include increased testosterone, increased amounts of brown fat (good fat) which annihilates lipids (bad fat like stomach fat), it’s an anti-depressant, you burn a ton of calories while subjected to it, it can put your body in a sleep ready state, and it also increases your white blood cell count.
Even though we are now living at a marina with hot showers nearby, my wife and I still immerse ourselves regularly in cold water. The featured photo in this post is me spending 10 minutes soaking in the cold Delta waters today. Whenever we feel that we could use an extra boost or could burn a little fat, we kick start our cold water immersions again.
All you need to do is subject yourself to the point of shivering. Once a day is good but twice is better. Next time you need to scrub your hull, forget the wetsuit!
I invite you to do your own research regarding the effects of the thermal load of cold water on the human body. The results will surprise you.
P.S. If you are sailor friends of ours and need a more recent example of what regular cold water immersion can do, look up Sundowner Sails Again and Tate McDaniel’s pics when they left versus now. He spent TONS of time spearfishing in water with a temperature lower than his body temp. Although not freezing cold water, what I’m sure was a fairly long exposure coupled with the exercise he got while spearfishing leaned him out super fast.