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Ice, Ice Baby!

I do not like the cold - I am a freezer! I have a hot bath most evenings (even through the summer!) and so the idea of a cold shower every day, even through winter, is ludicrous! I mean, just the thought of it makes me shiver. But, after watching a recent podcast with Dr. Ragan Chatterjee interviewing 'The Ice Man' Wim Hof, I had second thoughts.

There is clear scientific evidence of the benefits of cold water for our bodies: reduced stress levels, higher levels of alertness, a more robust immune response, reduced inflammation, and potential benefits to our cardiovascular system. Wim talks more about this in the podcast, episode #127, on his website

I am a sucker for a novel health kick - so after listening to Wim Hof himself, with his energetic eccentricity, I thought 'I want some of that!'. Now that we are coming into winter, with colds, flu and viruses abounding it seems like a good thing to try. Also, my family has a history of poor blood flow and circulation, and together with my own anxiety, aches and pains I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my overall health as much as possible.

I took Wim's advice of building up to the cold slowly and focussing on my breath. Thankfully, Wim does not advise you to just jump into an ice-cold shower, he advises to begin with 20 seconds of cold at the end of a regular hot shower. The heat from the shower will lessen the shock and the cold-water exposure will be more gradual. He says that over a period of 10 days to increase the cold shower by 10 seconds each day. By the 10th day you will be able to stand under a cold shower for 2 minutes. Even to me, a 10 second i