Thursday, 26 May 2016

How to Shower like 007

How to shower like 007

A couple of weeks ago something horrible happened. Something that, in the UK in April, is likely to ruin your day, week and maybe month. MY BOILER BROKE.

Now, I appreciate that I’m somewhat of a wimp, but me and the cold just don’t get on. And, more specifically, me and cold showers certainly don’t get on.

But it got me thinking about cold exposure and its benefits. It’s something I haven’t experimented a whole lot with myself (again, due to being a total wimp) but, if you can hack it, exposing your body to temperatures outside of what would ordinarily be the norm can be very beneficial.

Let’s delve into why…

Here are a few of the proposed benefits of taking cold showers or baths:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers blood glucose levels
  • Reduces food cravings
  • Lowers body fat
  • Improves function of adrenal glands
  • Improves deep sleep quality
  • Improves pain tolerance
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Regulates antioxidant levels
  • Keeps hair and skin healthy

In my opinion, one of the most interesting and nowadays more relevant benefits is that around the reduction of body fat. The science tells us that there are two main types of human fat: white fat and brown fat. We can think of these two types as being bad and good respectively. Unfortunately, as we get older the amount of brown fat our bodies hold naturally decreases, with babies apparently having far more than adults.

Brown fat is generally stored in the upper chest and neck. When stimulated, it generates heat which boosts white fat metabolism. The cool (pardon the pun) thing about this is that cold exposure provides this stimulation, thus helping us to burn fat! Studies have shown that lean individuals carry more brown fat than overweight or obese people, making cold showers a bit of a no-brainer if you’re looking for a sneaky way to help shed those few stubborn pounds that don’t want to shift.

In my reading before writing this blog post I learned that the author of the James Bond books, Ian Fleming, outlined 007’s bathing protocol several times. And guess what… HE TAKES COLD SHOWERS! This kick-ass secret agent actually adopts a method which is commonly referred to as a ‘Scottish Shower’ where you start with hot water and then switch to freezing cold right at the end.
Obviously I had to try this!

So this morning I went through my new dry brushing protocol which I talked about in a recent blog post which you can read about in My Little Bathroom Therapy post, and then stepped into the shower. I bathed in nice hot water before nailing a 30 second blast of freezing cold water at the end. I can honestly say that it was thoroughly invigorating. I stepped out of the shower feeling energised and fresh as hell. I plan to add this to my morning shower routine at least a handful of times a week and make everyone call me James Bond.

Give it a try yourself and let me know how you get on.

Have a healthy day,



1 comment

  1. Tried this yesterday after a lunchtime run. Felt amazing. It gave me an extra boost going into rest of my workday. I'll work my way towards doing this in the morning!!


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