Author Topic: Cold showers  (Read 22276 times)

Offline SUGARDUDE

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2011, 02:06:10 PM »
Thanks Todd.

I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in my weight loss results as of yet but I'm just starting out. It's NOT causing me to gain weight.  I'm going to try the protocol from the book so as to lessen the time I spend in hot water prior to going cold.

Offline SUGARDUDE

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 10:24:53 AM »
 I did a 10 minute cold shower today.  It was much easier than I thought it would be.

I feel great.

I'm now subscribing to the thermodynamic paradigm introduced by Ray Cronise and Tim Ferris in the "Four Hour Body".  In addition to the cold showers I'll be swimming in a cold pool for about 30 minutes and placing an ice pack on the back of my neck for 30 minutes at night.

Wish me luck.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 02:33:56 PM »
Ten minutes!!  I'm not even up to that yet!

Offline SUGARDUDE

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 01:26:58 PM »
Yeah.   I did it again today but it's too damn cold to jump in the pool yet.

Offline Sonia

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2011, 04:43:13 AM »
Todd, thanks for your advices.
What you recommand for the cold showers (jumping right in, trying to stay at least 5mns under the cold water) is indeed a totally different experience from what I was doing (scrubbing with a scrub glove before the shower, and just pourring the water with a cup, going real fast...), which was a very soft version.
The first real shower was difficult and I couldn't stay more than 3 minutes.
The second one, surprisingly, was already easier, and I was able to stay 5 minutes!
It's only at the 4th one that I was able to wash my hair in the same time (I could only wash it seperately before).

After the first shower, I really wondered whether I could do it again, or want to do it again...
I can't believe I'm still doing it and enjoying it!
I'm amazed at how fast the body can adapt. I get a little bit of a shiver after a few minutes (it comes later and later), but I notice I can control it mentally.
Also, my skinny hands and feet don't stay that cold afterwards.

After the initial warm feeling, I can feel a little cool if I don't move around.
So a hot fresh ginger tea with spices and herbs fixes that right away, and I really feel great.

It's a very powerful experience. Thanks again.



Offline Patrea

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 10:31:06 AM »
Another bonus for cold baths/ showers/ sea dip is in helping sleep. Insomnia is a big issue for me. There is literature on lowering your body temperature to assist sleep. I take a cold bath immediately before bed (2 mins) and it works well.
So you get your dose of hormesis and a good night's sleep in one...

Offline Alcibiades

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 09:10:37 AM »
Delurking after months (for some bizarre reason the entire domain became inaccessible, no idea why) to drop this here:

http://www.freezeawayfat.com/science_behind_cool_shapes/Fat%20Loss%20in%20the%20Cold.pdf

"Cold exposure led to a reduction of skinfold thicknesses and an increase of body density...with a loss of body fat...and a 1.5-kg increase of lean body mass. However, no significant changes of body composition occurred with comparable exercise under temperate conditions."

As an idle thought: could long-term cold environmental hormesis, as it were, be responsible for differences between Mediterranean and Nordic types? I'm thinking here of how Romans (Tacitus, I *think*) noted that the northern tribes - proto-Germans - were much heavier and larger, on average, than their southern, warmer-climatey counterparts. You tend to get a bit stuck on classical examples after a while I'm afraid.

Offline SUGARDUDE

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2011, 06:43:42 PM »
I'm still doing cold showers not so much for weight loss but because of just the mental sharpness and enegry that results.

Offline buffetjunkie

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2011, 06:00:46 PM »
I've done the cold showers for a week, and I have 2 questions:

1) How much cold exposure is too much?  Amazingly today I got to a point where I thought I could probably keep going.  Not saying that it was pleasant at that point!

2) I've noticed that when I start shivering, it helps me to adjust to the cold if I exaggerate the shiver.  Is exaggerating the shiver, good, bad, or neutral?

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2011, 07:48:27 PM »
buffetjunkie,

If you get to the point where you are experience actual pain -- headaches, muscle cramps -- or have abnormal heart rate or breathing, then stop.  Stop if your extremities become numb or difficult to move.  Otherwise, if it is just uncomfortable, unpleasant and your heart rate is within the range of strenuous exercise, that's normal.  I think that most of the benefit comes after the first 3 minutes so I try to aim for at least 5, ideally going to 7 minutes.  I also keep rotating to expose all my most sensitive parts, which in my case include my neck, shoulders, hands, the top of my head, and my chest.

I think your idea of exaggerating the shiver is an excellent idea.  That should help the thermogenesis as well as making the cold more tolerable.  Most likely, you'll find the need to do that will diminish with time and experience. Another approach I use, especially at the beginning, is to grit my teeth and stiffen myself to the cold.  I also find that laughing or singing helps.  I think these are all forms of "compensating" that are quite helpful.

Todd


Offline Steph

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2011, 01:46:17 PM »
Well, I'm hooked!  Second morning of cold showers, and it really makes me feel terrific.

I'm not near five minutes, though - more like one and a half.  Perhaps I can build up - I'd like to, as I really like the after effect and would love for it to last longer.

I'm finding it's easier if I act as though I'm luxuriating in the cold water - it seems to blunt the psychological and physical discomfort a bit.  And at the minute mark, I almost believe it!

Offline Steph

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2011, 01:47:22 PM »
I should add, I also think I'm able to do this (short) cold shower because I still have a hot shower at night.  The idea of replacing a hot shower with a cold one was too hard for me.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2011, 09:40:00 AM »
Steph,

That's great to hear you are able to go even for 1-2 minutes.  That's a very good start.  And I agree with all of your other suggestions: gradually building up to longer times (which will lead to a sustained afterglow), using psychological devices to blunt the discomfort, and "rewarding" yourself by alternating with hot showers.  I also find that psyching myself up is important -- I remind myself that I'll feel great for much longer than the short discomfort, and I focus on the pride and elation I feel in being able to go longer and colder.  I also remind myself that I've had zero colds or flus since starting cold showers, and it seems to provide enhanced immunity even during the lousy winter weather.

I do also take warm showers or hot tubs. I do enjoy these, but am careful not to do this too often.  It's kind of like an occasional "cheat" on a diet, and I think it is psychologically necessary. And it fits with the concept of "intermittency" which is central to Hormetism.  But there is a cost to doing it too often because I find that it sets back my cold tolerance.  So I try to keep hot showers or baths to no more than once a week, at times I can enjoy them.  You might gradually try reducing the frequency of your hot showers to once every 2 or 3 days to see if that provides a reasonable balance that allows you to progress in your cold tolerance, while allowing you the pleasure of hot showers.

Todd

Offline UrsusMinor

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2011, 01:02:09 PM »
My experience with heat is quite different from yours, as I describe on a neighboring post

http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,64.msg687.html#msg687.

I generally find that increasing heat tolerance increases my cold tolerance, and vice-versa.

Both cold plunging and sweat lodging are common around the world in one form or another. I've never really seen evidence that one is beneficial and the other detrimental, or that intense heat makes one fatter.

Intense heat is just as demanding in terms of bodily adaptation as cold, I think, although it provokes a different set of responses. But both are stressful, and both demand major shifts.

"Warm" may not do the trick, but I think hot is as challenging as cold.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 01:04:45 PM by UrsusMinor »

Offline UrsusMinor

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Re: Cold showers
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2011, 01:09:01 PM »
Slightly off-topic, but not too far. I practice hot yoga, either CorePower Yoga:

http://corepoweryoga.com/YogaforBeginners/ClassDescriptions.aspx

or Bikram Yoga:

http://www.bikramyoga.com/

Either of them make it very easy to jump into a cold shower, cold pool, or the ocean after a class.