Things I learnt by taking a Cold Shower Challenge

One of my favourite podcast in recent times is Noah Kagen Presents and I have been devouring each episode back-to-back. One interesting thing that Noah does is a weekly challenge. He or his guests come up with a challenge for the listeners to complete. Some of the challenges are deleting ONE app from your mobile, waking up at 5am, asking for 10% off when you get your coffee, etc. Sounds simple, but very, very hard to do.

I decided to take up such a challenge, except to do it for a month. And the challenge I took up for september is to have only a cold shower everyday. I know it sounds easy, but I love a nice hot shower. I usually have the hottest setting than normal people.

For me it IS hard.

cold and hot shower

Many people claim numerous health benefits of a cold shower. The list include:

  • Increased Alertness
  • Clearer skin
  • Improved Immunity and circulation
  • Even weight loss as the body tries to warm up

But I didn’t care for any of that and I didn’t find any such benefits during my challenge days.

The only thing I cared about was to make sure I was able to finish this challenge, everyday. When you start the day with a challenge and you complete it, it does feel good.

Did I really have a cold shower everyday?

Yep, I did. Except for 2 days when I was really sick due to a flu and didn’t bathe. I wasn’t even able to move from the bed, so I don’t want to worry too much about the two days.

Here is an app I use to track such everyday activities. And how I tracked everyday of September.

september challenge tracker

Was it freezing?

No, not freezing. But, it was sort of mildly cold, because Madras doesn’t have freezing temperatures. But this year was a bit different as the months of August and September were raining almost daily. It was colder than normal. Especially when bathing at 7AM.

But I did have to travel to Bangalore and I was dreading the two days I was going to stay there. Surprisingly Bangalore was hotter than usual and I enjoyed the water than in Madras.

However today (30 September) I had to take up the challenge with the Ultra setting. I am currently in Mysore, enjoying the long weekend and I just got out of the shower. It has been raining heavily recently and the temperatures are cold. The water is very, very cold. But I survived.

Any tips?

I let the water fall on me in parts, first to the extremeties and then to my core. My shower time has increase considerable. I noticed that I automatically started exhaling hard when the cold water hits my body. But soon after couple of minutes, the body adjusts to the temperature.

My tip would be to just do it and try what works.

Next challenge?

I didn’t mention about this challenge to anyone, except a few people. But from my next challenges, I am going to start mentioning about it in the blog and what I learnt from it.

My challenge for October is to have a conversation with one stranger everyday. Yes. It might look too easy, but for me I prefer a quite time without having to talk to anyone. So it is going to be extra difficult for me.

But lets see how it turns out.

PS: On hearing my new challenge, my wife has also decided to participate in the same challenge.

PPS: What challenge are you going to do next month?


Also published on Medium.

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