Cold showers. Yes, I do them. And yes, I have high hopes for the already wide array of research backing it's health claims to keep growing favorably to this practice. Before I detail my routine, if you're new or still skeptical to the health claims of cold showers, let me offer up some promising science and an anecdote explaining cold showers better than I would be able to.
Notable resources on benefits of cold showers:
My process goes like this:
I do all my body cleaning with water that's relatively room temperature to begin. Once I'm finished with that, I take a few deep breathes and set my intention to control my breathe regardless of what the external conditions are like. I slowly roll back the hot knob and roll on the cold knob. As each noticeable temperature change occurs, I check in with my breathe. When I anticipate the cold knob getting close to it's limit, I crank it all the way and start counting to either 120 or 180. All while keeping as controlled, slow and deep a breathe as I can throughout the shock of cold water hitting me. Shower off and I'm ready for my day.
If I don't shower in the morning, or just don't shower at all in a day, I tend to take my cold shower at the gym after a workout.
The idea that science may reach a point where it can prove that health benefits are in fact attainable isn't particularly the most interesting aspect of cold showers to me. What draws me to this practice most is the fact that I'm able to create a (for the most part) stressful environment that is (for the most part) controlled and also consistent. Having this allows my body to practice the purest and most natural action I know (breathing) under less than ideal conditions so if I am to face stressful events during the rest of my day, I can respond to them with a well trained, clearheaded, and calm demeanor.
For further reading on the benefits of cold showers, check out our friends over at ShowerRemedy.com and their new blog post: http://www.showerremedy.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-cold-shower-you-probably-dont-know/