14-Month Cold Shower Streak

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 21:12
Looking into an ice hole.

Inspired by Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and Wim Hof (aka "Iceman"), I decided to start incorporating cold showers into my daily routine for the health benefits as well as the strengthening of my resolve and willpower. The results were encouraging. Without fail, I minimally finished each shower with 1 minute of cold water. For days where I was determined, I would go 10 minutes completely cold. This routine went on for 14 months when a brief bout of the common cold made it a bit intolerable. While my streak is over, I still continue to take cold showers frequently while occasionally giving myself an out.

While cold showers are not nearly as challenging as an ice bath, I found myself having my willpower tested each and every time. During the winter (when the outside temperatures dropped below zero), the water coming out of the showerhead could cause brain freeze within 30 seconds. If nothing else, I felt a sense of victory each and every time the shower was over, having survived another round. In fact, I started to train myself to enjoy it, using the concept of a Pavlovian response by using visualization to link up strong, positive memories with the experience. I dare say I started to look forward to the experience.

The best benefit of all? Beyond the documented physiological benefits, we saved a bit of money on our water bill because, after all, one tends to take shorter showers when the water is freezing cold versus being lulled into a state of deep relaxation during a warm shower.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: Chief Product Officer of DRUD Tech. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.