It just occurred to me that last year around this time I was shivering my ass off on a daily basis, whether I was walking outside in the winter air or sitting at my desk.
I even wore Long John’s under my jeans each day. No matter what I did, I was usually cold last winter.
Not this year.
Thinking back, there’s only one major change that I’ve introduced over the past year that could be responsible. That would be the habit of taking contrast showers.
I first learned about contrast showers from Mike Cernovich over at Danger & Play. He taught me that contrast showers will boost your immune system by helping to circulate lymph fluid throughout your body.
To take a contrast shower simply means to spend a period under hot/warm water, cycled with a period under cold/icy water. So, say 60 seconds under hot, alternated with 60 seconds under cold. Just always finish with cold to close your pores.
The hot water draws blood towards the surface of your skin as your body tries to cool itself. The steam helps to open up your lungs.
Then, the cold water forces blood further from your skin as it flows back towards your core to keep you warm. Thousands of little muscle reactions occur as you begin to shiver. You also take deeper breaths which helps wake you up and oxygenates your brain.
Over time, the cold water will actually train those smaller muscles and make them stronger. And you’ll start to shiver way less.
Sadly, I used to be a little bitch in the cold. Now it’s not so bad.
I forced myself to get used to contrast showers due to the benefits they offer your ability to recover when bodybuilding. I am so glad I did.
Keep From Getting Sick!
I have no doubt that contrast showers have also helped my immune system. I caught some kind of virus the other week, but managed to avoid some of worst symptoms that were going around with it.
I took contrast showers while I was sick and they helped to loosen up congestion. They also helped with cycling lymph fluid throughout my body to attack the virus, as well as to remove toxins. The friend I caught it from is still sick and I’m completely over it.
When your body is aching, the only thing preventing you from taking a cold shower is a weak mindset. Get under there and reap the benefits.
Also, my knuckles used to crack open and bleed during the winter unless I constantly applied lotion. Not any more. Cold water isn’t as harsh on your skin and can save your hands.
Develop Some Discipline
By taking a cold or contrast shower each day. You’ll not only be helping your body defend itself and recover, you’ll also be developing a stronger willpower and discipline. When it’s freezing cold outside, the last thing you want to do is take a freezing cold shower.
But as Victor & Mike say, how can you dominate your life if you can’t even dominate your own body?
Get in there, handle business, and be done with it. You’ll be glad you did once you’re finished. Contrast showers are fucking awesome.