Would you start your day, every day, by taking part in the ice bucket challenge? Few of us would be willing to take an ice bath even on a hot summer day. But many days, especially during the coldest months, I find myself dreading getting out of bed to start my day. That’s because I begin my workday with a fairly unorthodox ritual: I take a cold shower.
In a day and age where cryotherapy is gaining popularity, and where you can literally freeze the fat right off of your body, taking a cold shower in the morning doesn’t seem that out of the box. But it’s a habit that took me a long time to adopt. Typically, you want to get out of bed and head into a comforting, warm shower. It’s almost like you’re going from one bed to another — and that’s a perfectly fine way to start your day.
Changing it up, though, has afforded me some unanticipated benefits. The truth is, I started my arctic shower odyssey after reading an article in the New York Times about it. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but one day (during August, for what it’s worth), I decided to give it a shot. After finishing my typical shower routine, I would slowly decrease the water temperature and see how long I could stand it.
Before I knew it, I had adopted the whole cold shower routine as normal. And now, it’s an important part of my day. There are several reasons why I have chosen to make it a permanent part of my routine. Here are five of them.