Contrast showers

28.07.2016 |

Episode #2 of the course Small habits that yield big results by Joe Bennett

 

This is one of those things that sucks to do but is really good for you. It’s kinda like the ginger-shot of bathing techniques.

A contrast shower is a way of cleaning yourself in which you turn the shower water temperature as hot as you can stand it for 3 minutes and then change it to as cold as you can stand it for 1 minute. Typically this cycle is done 2-3 times.

It’s really not fun at first, but holy crap is it invigorating when that cold water hits you. And then, oh sweet lordy then, when you switch back to hot water, the feeling is like all your nerves are being individually called up to heaven to meet sweet baby Jesus.

 

In my life

I started taking contrast showers in early 2015 with the desire to improve my health. Being in my mid-thirties and hearing horror stories of middle-aged gentlemen with lowering testosterone levels, I decided cold water was better than losing my manly edge.

Yeah, it was really bad at first. For some reason it made me think of being in London. Maybe I was really, really cold when I went that one time.

But you know what? They did help. I started noticing that I felt stronger and more invigorated after the showers.

I now take contrast showers e.v.e.r.y. day. And I always, always end on cold.

I also take these showers whenever I feel my body beginning to fight some sickness or bug. I typically go through the cycle 3-4 times, and they are crucial to warding off the invaders. My immune system gets activated by the temp swings and is like, “Oh shit, let’s get busy! It’s germ-killin’ time.”

 

How you do it

  1. Start your shower on warm to hot for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Change your water temp to as cold as you can stand it for 1 minute.

  3. Repeat this 2-3 times.

  4. Essential pro tip: You must end on cold!

 

The benefit to you

Contrast showers increase blood flow, boost your immune system, improve testosterone levels, and make you one tough mfer. And ending on cold gives you the benefits of taking a cold shower:

  1. Relieves depression

  2. Improves skin and hair health

  3. Increases testosterone levels

  4. Increases fertility and energy levels

 

The science

The hot water opens up your blood vessels and gets your blood flowing quickly through your body, pushing it outward toward your skin. Then when you switch to cold water, it causes your body to react and pull the blood back toward your vital internal organs.

This push/pull effect on your blood is believed to reduce inflammation, detoxify your body, reduce lactate in your blood, and aid in healthy hormone levels.

 

What you’ll learn tomorrow: Don’t answer unexpected phone calls

 

Recommended book

“The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood & Jeffrey Brantley

 

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