I've been trying to eat paleo as best I can. I was wondering about taking cold showers as I'm seeing if there are any other fun ways of living paleo other than just the nutrition; also I've heard the health benefits such as better circulation etc, and the caveman must have bathed in cold water too. Does anyone know any products I can use to wash myself which are 100% or if you even need to use any of these so called "soap" and "shower gels"?
As for cold showers, I take them very often. This is entirely anecdotal but I always get a real buzz after cold showering. Nothing better to wake me up in the morning, although funnily whenever I take a cold shower in the evening before bed I always sleep a lot better. I do feel that I recover more quickly from my workouts and I've read about the supposed benefits it offers to muscle recovery, but most of all I just love the feeling it gives me.
Cold showers are my default setting. I rarely take warm showers/baths, and if I do it's part of a hot/cold cycle.
Instead of body washes, etc., I would give the skin a good scrubbing from time to time to loosen the dead material and to promote circulation. A nice organic washcloth works for this.
This also applies to the hair (use your fingers to rub the scalp, loosening up dander and redistributing oils).
You could also rub your skin with good quality coconut oil afterwards.
In addition to cold showers, I like supplement with a cold-pack on the upper back every night for about 20 minutes.
During a recent trip to Wisconsin (you can read my food/exercise log here), I took daily COLD! showers (10 minutes), swam daily in a cold river, and didn't gain a pound in spite of far greater than normal alcohol consumption for the entire week.
I think that there is a definite thermogenic effect (I discussed Tim Ferris' theories about this here) as well as possible immune system/recovery benefits.
I've been taking cold showers for about six weeks. It's summer here in Australia it's fairly easy so far. Once the shock is over, takes about a minute, it's easy. To early to tell the benefits
I haven't been rubbing chemicals into my skin for about three months. I don't smell at all, but I only ever wear cotton and I think that's important.
I like your concept of other fun ways to live paleo. I'm always looking for opportunities. I say bah humbug! to those who say it's not about re-enactment.
I'm also trying to squat on the toilet, but I'm finding that very difficult.
I'd also like to follow the theories in the book "Sex at Dawn", but I'm having a hard time convincing my wife.
I've been taking cold(ish) showers for the past few months, and I think they've REALLY helped my dry skin and acne. Usually in the winter, I get pretty bad dry skin and more acne breakouts. Quite possibly they were made worse by the daily steaming hot showers I would take.
The problem was getting used to not taking daily hot showers throughout a Canadian winter.
I've been experimenting with "contrast showers" lately. 45 seconds of as cold as I can stand it, followed by 1 minute and a half of as hot as i can take it. I do that cyle about 4 times and end on cold. I feel alert, sleep more soundly and better recovery.
As for the no soap issue, I haven't washed my face in over 7 months and my skin has never been clearer. I'm also washing my hair half as much as I used too.
I think cold showers echo the Scandinavian practice of having a sauna and then rolling in the snow. It's good for your health - I mean, look at all those healthy Swedish people out there ;) I find cold showers extremely difficult so start off really hot (in winter) and then get colder and colder as I finish. It helps close the skin pores. If you wash your hair and then finish with a cooler rinse, it comes out shinier and not so static.
You do not need to use soap, but you will be put off as there is a period where things get worse for a while, thereafter improving drastically.
There have been some previous threads on this topic which you will find really helpful if you are thinking of going no soap/poo:
I LOVE cold showers. But I always start off with a hot shower, and end it with the hot water turned off and the cold turned all the way up. Like others have said, it's great in the morning, and at night it helps me sleep. It sends a shock through your muscles that you can really feel, gets your blood pumping and makes my skin look nice.
Check this out:
The title might be a little over the top, the website too, but the info is good. Love the supposed testosterone boost too, as I work out quite frequently.
I take a cold shower every day, and it works wonders. I find that they're actually the most beneficial in the wintertime - makes me thumb the thermostat a lot less once I've doused myself, since my body does a better job regulating temperature after a jolt to the central nervous system.
One caveat: I noticed after a few months of showering cold (not just lukewarm) that I started to develop a very thin layer of subcutaneous body fat (no changes to eating or exercise habits, so I'm assuming the showers are what did it). It's really not noticeable to anyone but me (not even the GF noticed) but it's definitely there, and I would bet that once the winter rolls around again I'll start to notice I've built up an even greater resistance to cold. So if you're looking at it from an all-around "fitness" perspective (and not just "looking good naked"), then you could say that, in that sense, cold showers do indeed adapt you better to enduring colder climates.
Nothing like getting the mammalian dive reflex going at the end of a long day. In addition, consistent cold showers help the body habituate to colder temperatures. I also swore by ice baths back when my ankle tendons were torn.
I am experimenting with cold showers but I'm completely intrigued by hormesis which I learned about here...
Todd Becker turned me on to cold showers from the above site. He has some interesting ideas and cites many people we are familiar with in our community.
Tim Ferris (can't decide what I think about him yet) also has some commentary on cold showers and cold in general in regard to weight loss, sleep and health.