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Save Time, Money, Your Body with the Cold Shower

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This will likely be one of the simplest tips you hear on Broke Ass Stuart’s, and will also be the one you are most reluctant to take. This is because it requires a certain amount of physical discomfort, and despite however much we fancy ourselves as self-denying dreamchasers, most of us still feel as though we need to indulge in every first world comfort available. Even though we’re trained to avoid physical discomfort, and that as Americans (especially Americans on the coast), it’s our right to not have to deal with it.

But don’t worry; this won’t be too much of a sacrifice. You’ll save a little time, a little bit of money, break your caffeine dependency, and give your quality of life a boost. And all you have to give up is a hot shower.

When your body is immersed in cold water it releases adrenaline. This is the natural process you’re trying to stimulate when you guzzle coffee or energy drinks, and this method is cheaper and much better for you. It creates no chemical dependency (like it or not, that is what’s happening when you rely on coffee to get you up in the morning) and won’t promote long-term fatiguing of the adrenal glands. If you stay in until you start shivering, cold showers can, paradoxically, keep you warmer all day. You send the signal to your body to generate more heat. This will usually be by burning fat, so there’s another health benefit. The thing that may benefit you the most in the long term though is the boost it gives to your immune system. You’ve probably heard that the French used to not bathe because they only had cold water and bathing with it would cause them to catch the typhoid and die. While standing in the rain for hours might not be the wisest decision for your health, five minutes in a cold shower every day will help you. The improved circulation it gives you also gets more pathogens flowing in to your lymphatic ducts, which are basically a series of tubes where all the gunk and waste products from your body get collected and filtered by white blood cells. And of course you’ll save a few bucks a month not only on the energy used to heat the water, but on water itself. Chances are, when the shower is cold, you’ll spend less time contemplating your existence and get right to lathering up.

Of course you’re not going to want to start with all cold water immediately. Take a few weeks to adjust, slowly using less and less hot water until you don’t use any at all. Another method you might try to ease into it would be to start off with water at a normal temperature, lather up, and then rinse off with cold water. It will be a bit of a shock at first. I’ve found that the best way to enter is to get your legs wet with your back facing the shower, and then slowly back up towards the water until it gets to your neck. Then turn around, getting both your sides and your chest, then raise up your arms to get your armpits. After that, sticking your head under isn’t so bad.

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Nate Cox- Low-Budget Literati

Nate Cox- Low-Budget Literati

Nate was born in the People's Republic of Berkeley and has gotten weirder ever since. After pursuing an economically unwise degree in Literature at UCSB, he has returned to the Bay to try this whole starving artist thing. Get him drunk enough and he will tell you about everything from Aboriginal Australian languages to jazz theory to how he coulda been a contendah. In his spare time, he looks at satellite images on Google Earth of places he will never go.