Akin to the “heart thumping” effect that sprints and training outside in hot weather have on the body – there is something else that produces much the same effect, and has health benefits galore.
Many years ago in China my hot water heaters stopped working – that too in the middle of winter.
Right smack in the middle of winter, and yours truly being a person that just HAS to shower in the mornings before heading out (unlike the Chinese, who seem to prefer to shower at night for whatever reason) guess what options were there.
I turned on the water – expecting it to turn warm – then hot as it usually does – but it never did, of course.
Now, this pattern for whatever reason has repeated itself ad infinitum over the years – so much so that the hot water heater is something I test multiple times before signing a lease etc. They use those old “gas” heaters in many parts of China here, and them darn things give up for a multitude of reasons at all the wrong times seemingly.
Anyhow, that was the first time it happened to me back then – and the only option was – well – to grit my teeth and jump straight into an ice cold shower – in the middle of the winter.
And after a bit of hemming and hawing, and prancing around on tiptoes, nervously testing the water – THAT is what I did!
Hoooo boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! My heart rate instantly shot up to about fifteen times it’s normal rate (ok, not really, but you get the drift) and to say that each jet of water felt like a cold knife passing through my bones would be the understatement of 2004 (I believe that was the year it first happened).
I gritted my teeth, and stayed in. Each second felt like an eternity.
But guess what …
Slowly, but surely, that cold water didn’t seem near as cold – and this when the outside temperature was hitting 1 degree Centigrade.
Sure, it wasn’t something you’d want to stay in all day – but I must have showered for my usual 5-10 minutes in that cold stream of water – and I then leapt out – and … here’s the kicker.
I didn’t “shiver” uncontrollably. I didn’t fall sick. I didn’t feel like puking.
NONE of the above.
Instead, I felt like a BAZILLION bucks. I felt like energy was shooting through every inch of my body – as opposed to the “relaxed” feeling you sometimes get after a hot shower.
And though it was colder than a witch’s t-i-t outside, I didn’t feel the cold when I stepped out. In fact, it felt like a normal day to me – as opposed to what would happen otherwise if I took a steaming hot shower.
I remember something else as well. Back then, I had just started to workout and my digestion would be on the blink often.
Gas. Indigestion. Flatulence. Bloat. You name it …
And THAT particular day was an exception to the norm. For whatever reason that cold water shower had revved up entire system – including my digestive processes – and everything worked perfectly that day – so much so that I remember it even now.
I’ve always taken cold water showers whenever possible after that – including today after my sprints (albeit in hot and humid weather, hehe).
I also researched it a bit more after my initial experience, and it seems I’m not the only one that partakes of these “cold water blasts” to rev up the internal engine.
The Finns and Scandanavian nations do this on a regular basis. In fact, Finland, a country near the North Pole is actually renowned for the tough folks who’ll bake in a sauna first – and then jump headfirst into the nearest almost-frozen ocean or lake to “cool off”.
Talk about a JOLT, my friend – and these people by the way are some of the healthiest people on the planet.
I’ll have more on this subject later, but for now – remember to do what the Finns do on a regular basis – and what a lot of the old time strongmen did – that being to incorporate cold showers into your routine whenever possible.
Turn it on as cold as you can get – and jump straight into it. You can switch back to warm or hot later on – – but that initial blast – – and staying it in for aat least a few minutes is really what does a WORLD of good to your health — more than you realize!
So that’s today’s tip, my friend. I’ll be back again with more.
P.S. – Your internal engine cranked up to it’s MAX means only good things in terms of fat burning. Even better, if you’re not currently hardy enough or a card carrying member of the “Polar Bear Club” (yes, such a thing apparently exists) then the workouts in the 0 Excuses Fitness System will get the job done as well. Grab your copy NOW and get started on some of the fat MELTING routines included right HERE – – http://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/