Early last week, I saw a segment on the Today Show about a 90-second shower routine that will increase circulation and alertness in the morning. Since BrightLife Direct is all about healthy circulation, I thought it warranted an investigation.
The idea is simple. Follow your normal cleansing routine in the shower, but instead of jumping out after your final rinse, stay in for an extra 90 seconds and adjust your faucet to the following:
30 Seconds: COLD
30 Seconds: HOT
30 Seconds: COLD
Then get out of the shower!
Sound terrible? I have to admit the first time it was! A few of us in the office experimented with this showering technique and reported back about a screaming 30-second countdown, dancing in circles and screaming, or simply standing and screaming. The cold water is a real shock, but each of us reported feeling some immediate effects. Hearts were pounding, blood was flowing and we all reported feeling wide awake!
Personally, having lived in Russia, I know that hot-cold therapy is an ingrained part of many cultures including Nordic countries. Russians consider going to the bath house (or banya) an important part of their weekly routine. There they sit in a incredibly hot sauna, jump into a cold pool of water or snow, and then head back to the sauna.
So, why do they do it? A myriad of health benefits! Entrepreneur.com did a full analysis and found that cold showers can help reduce stress, burn fat and improve both the vascular and immune systems!
A journalist at the New York Times also experimented with cold morning showers and found that it increased his productivity during the day. He says that turning the shower to COLD every morning is a real struggle for him, but that “…the point is that starting your morning by tackling challenges head-on will help encourage similar behavior throughout the day.” And there’s plenty of research to back that up as well! When people tackle difficult situations first thing in the morning, they’re less likely to procrastinate throughout the day.
Your last piece of trivia on cold showers? Kathryn Hepburn was a huge proponent of them!
After a week of showers, our company’s founder is a full convert! He says that the experiment is “life-changing.” While I’m not a morning shower person, I plan to keep it up on the weekends. How can I skip out on all of the potential health benefits? If you’re a bit nervous to go full throttle on the cold water, ease yourself into it by going a bit colder (in the same short spurts) every day. You can work your way up to ice cold after a few days.
Try it out and let us know what you think!
Disclaimer: Many of the articles I read warned that people with heart conditions should check with their physician before experimenting with cold water therapy! So, please check with your doctor if you have any concerns.