I start almost every morning with a nice cold shower, and how I feel after doing so is INCREDIBLE! My energy levels spike, my alertness sharpens, and my mood improves. These are just a few things that I notice right after, but the benefits of cold showers are plenty.
Benefits such as:
immune system health
heart rate increase
stimulation of deep breathing (lowering CO2 levels in your blood)
A cold shower is ideal because it activates the sympathetic nervous system - responsible for fight and flight. Now I know what you’re thinking… "Why would I want to stress myself out first thing in the morning?:. But studies have shown that the body eventually habituates to cold exposure, and the parasympathetic nervous system takes over soon after - responsible for rest and digestion. From personal experience I can confirm this, the first hour is more of a high, and then after an hour or so you start to feel calm.
But okay, I get it. For those folks who are like “naw, cold showers aren’t for me”, I get ya! So let’s move on to cool showers, not cold, but cool. As long as it gets you out of bed and moving, that’s all that really matters. Even a warm shower is okay. But when we get into the territory of hot showers, which most people take, that’s a tricky situation. I think hot showers should be saved for the nighttime, or only taken on occasion for pleasure. Hot showers activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is good if you’re trying to relax, take a nap, or even sleep. But for the morning it’s not such a good idea. Also, hot water will dry out your skin and can cause other skin-related issues. So let’s not turn that knob to red, let’s keep it in the middle.
I don’t shower in the morning just to get a “high”, it’s also for hygiene. A nice shower early in the morning will make you feel fresh. If you start your day without taking a shower, you will feel like a filthy animal. When you sleep your body releases gases, oils and all that sh*t, and for some people don’t mind stinking or being oily, but people around you will notice. One time I had a situation where I was setting up cameras for a client, I hadn’t taken a shower yet because I thought “ehh, nobody will notice”, and as he came near me he made a funny face and said, “dude, you smell, you need to watch your hygiene”. Now, I’m not going to cry about one little comment like that, but if you’re trying to be professional, then “watch your hygiene!”.
There’s also this thing called “the momentum train”, it departs early in the morning, and if you miss it you can’t get on another one thereafter, “CHU CHU!”. When you overcome a challenge early in the day, everything else becomes easier. It starts with the alarm, then the shower, then maybe even a short walk, and now things are rolling baby!
And I guess I can include this too, it’s more of a subjective thing, but you’ll feel it. The sense of accomplishment. Because you took a shower, you accomplished something. Even if your life is sh*t, even if you have no goals, or maybe you’re just at a bad point in your life, taking that shower will make you feel like you’ve done something. And this can lead to you doing another thing, then another, and by the time you’ve noticed, your life has improved significantly.
Even Elon Musk says it’s important to shower in the morning!
Sympathetic nervous system
Parasympathetic nervous system
Cold shower versus hot shower which one is better?
An article that explains The Cold Shower study