Turning off the heat may not sound appealing, but there are some actual health benefits to be had by taking a cold plunge on a regular basis.
Have you ever taken a cold shower – a really cold shower? Then you’ll know that bracing sensation as the icy cold water comes pouring out of the showerhead onto your just-warm, now-frozen skin. You gasp, and perhaps scream, as you become number by the second. Although the shock dissipates, the pain never really goes away until you step out and grab the nearest towel. In the following moments, however, you suddenly realize it was totally worth it. By now you’re feeling the greatest adrenaline rush. Your skin is tingling, you’re wide awake, and you’re realizing, I just did it!
Cold showers have played an important role in many cultures for various reasons. From the Spartans, ancient Greeks, and Romans, to Native American tribes, Japanese Shinto practitioners, and the Scandinavians, cold water plunges have long been part of traditional rituals. They are used to build psychological strength, to cleanse the spirit, to improve health, and to make you feel awesome… once you’re out, of course.
Our comfort-obsessed modern culture has largely forgotten – or chooses to overlook – the benefits of cold water, but perhaps it needs to make a comeback, not least of all because it forces you to conserve water (you won't want to linger so long) and reduce the heating bill. But there other reasons why taking a daily cold shower – or doing a ‘polar dip’ in a cold lake – is a very good idea.