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How to get Used to Cold Showers

How to get Used to Cold Showers

SILIENT cold showers are hard, and that’s exactly why they’re great. Doing something hard to kick off your day has significant psychological benefits for procrastination, happiness, and general peak performance in addition to the physical benefits of a cold shower on reduced inflammation, skin health etc.  But again, it’s hard.


Part of the reason why cold therapy should be performed at the low end of the cold therapy temperature range (45-50F) is that you never really want to get used to it.  “Hello darkness my old friend” is the classic melody playing in my head every time I’m submerged in the cold.  Every… time.  The goal of scaling in should never be comfort, scaling in should allow you to achieve the lower end of the temperature range, and experience the benefits every day.


And a regular cold shower just won’t do it in warmer climates, or anywhere in the U.S. during the summer and fall months.  You want it SILIENT cold, down to 39F. 


Three effective ways to get used to cold showers - 


  1. End with cold - Start with a temperature that is as cold as you are comfortable with while you’re washing off.  Then, at the end of the shower turn it to 45F or as low as you can go for 10 seconds.  The next day shoot for 15 seconds, 20 seconds etc at the end of your shower until you’re taking a full on cold shower for the entire duration.  This is the classic method that gets you contrast therapy during the process, and starts you off on day one with the confidence that you can do VERY cold, albeit for only a short time.
  2. Slow decrease - Start as cold as you’re comfortable with, and decrease the temperature by 2-4F every day until you’re down in the range where you want to be, again 45-50F is optimal for cold therapy.  Once you’ve achieved the target temperature, hold steady for a week or two, then push it even lower.  Make it hard, every day.
  3. Just do it - Set the water down to 45F, and smash face into an exhilarating experience as long as you can hang on.  The goal here is to scale up time, holding the temperature constant.  Target 10 seconds or more (you can do it, my toddler does 10 seconds) for your first round, and increase by 5 seconds every day.


Suggestions to maximize the probability of success following the methods above - 


Track your performance.  Use a spreadsheet, or whiteboard outside of your shower every day to make sure you’re working toward your goal.


Make sure your water is cold enough.  The SILIENT Cold Therapy system will get your shower down anywhere in the cold therapy range all the way down to 39F, plenty cold for cold therapy.  


Wash off during the cold therapy sessions to start.  Staying busy will keep your mind off of the pain.  Wait until you’re more advanced to meditate or perform breathing exercises during the cold shower.  Trust me, you’ll be breathing heavily enough your first try.


Intention - Keeping in mind the “why” will help you stay consistent, and work through the initial scale in.  Tie your cold therapy back to a personal identity or goal to make it stick.

Mark Palchak,

Founder SILIENT Cold Therapy