COLD SHOWER CHALLENGE
Are cold showers painful? Yes.
Have they been used as a form of torture? Yes.
Are they good for you? They certainly can be.
Professional Super Middle Weight Boxer and trainer, Iain Jackson, investigates…
COLD COMFORT FOR CHANGE
When a friend and colleague told me he was taking daily cold showers in order to improve his health I thought he had lost his mind.
But after actually looking into this, well googling it, I began to suspect he might have a point.
Besides, as someone who has always enjoyed a bit of a risk and anything that promises a new thrill, I am up for anything.
I decided to give myself 30 days to see how I felt. Initially I was subjecting myself to cold streams of water intermittently, because lets face it, freezing your bollocks off, just isn’t that much fun.
Nonetheless I persisted. After a week I told my brother and fitness confidante @theneiljackson what I was doing and he put me on to the work of Dr Ronda Patrick @foundmyfitness .
Dr Ronda Patrick has spent years researching cold showers and her conclusions are startling.
The real benefits of a cold shower only start after a full five minutes under the icy stream. WTF, I thought. Just one minute was making me jump around like an epileptic in an electric chair.
Doctors Patrick’s research however concludes that it as at at 5 minutes that the cold shock proteins really start work. In other words, this is when the good shit kicks in. One of the chemical’s released is called norepinephrine. It is a chemical that helps combat depression and Dr Patrick’s research suggests that in cases of extreme depression the cold shock therapy have a huge positive effect.
Now I am gonna come clean here and tell you I have suffered from bouts of depression my entire adult life. These have no doubt been made worse by a career in professional boxing and the countless concomitant concussions I have suffered.
Put simply since pro-boxing my depression is a lot worse. The three weeks before upping the shower time I was in a real slump. As Churchill used to say of his own depressions, the black dog was biting and suicidal thoughts were a daily occurrence.
I spoke to the doctor and we talked about different pills and potions.
Then I remembered Dr Rhonda’s research and I decided to try the cold showers first.
So I took the metaphysical and physical plunge, 5 minutes under the icy cold water & I am not gonna lie, its really fucking cold, but I toughed it out.
And I stuck at it, it wasn’t easy, five long, icy, fucking awful minutes, every fucking day, I have had to psych myself up sometimes, which is not unlike like stepping into the boxing ring.
Days 1-5 were pretty horrible, then day 6 I started to fell really good…
By day 7 the dark, seemingly interminable cloud that had settled on me had lifted, practically four weeks of depression had not just gone but been replaced by a real lightness of mood.
I’m 2 years in now & not only is my head better, I feel alive again, I have more energy, I’m better at work, more productive, I’m sleeping better my life is better, I have also lost weight.
For 5 minutes of discomfort in the morning I am rewarded with a whole day of happiness. You really can’t put a price on that..
For anyone struggling with depression, or anyone who likes a challenge I strongly recommend it. I cannot think of too many things that will so quickly and measurably improve your life
Thanks for taking the time to read this.