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Does it build discipline to shower with cold water? Are there other benefits why you would recommend it? Are the disadvantages?

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I feel like most of the answers are making assumptions about when the shower is being taken. – Michael Nov 11 '14 at 17:00


It gives you a rush of endorphins, wakes you up, desensitises you to the cold for the rest of the day, and makes you feel like a man for doing it (although the effect of cold water can temporarily make you look "less of a man"...ahem).

In other words it gives you SOME of the benefits of a work-out all for spending a few minutes in cold water. Do it.

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According to Tim Ferris yes. Cold shower and ice baths burns more calories than anything you do.

I don't have time to exercise in the morning so I take a cold shower to get my blood flowing (because of the shiver and flexing to stay warm) and wake myself up.

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+1 for the wake up. Beats coffee any day! – Rory Alsop May 31 '12 at 8:41
"burning calories" does not mean something is good for you. However, waking yourself up is useful enough. – weronika Jun 10 '12 at 5:10

I usually shower with hot water and then, the last minute or so, I turn off the hot water and stand under the cold shower. I occasionally grunt and make spastic movements, but it really helps me getting awake in the morning!

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I'll address the "discipline" part, since it's the first question.

What does "building discipline" mean? If you're basically saying:

I hate cold showers, a lot. Will taking cold showers help train self-discipline?

I suppose so, although whether or not it leads to generalized self-discipline, IMO, is a bit up-in-the-air.

In other words, will doing one specific thing you don't like to do make it easier to do other specific things you don't like to do? Self-discipline can be viewed as a muscle: in this sense, yes, practicing self-discipline in one area will build the an ability that may be transferable to other areas.

At the same time, it's one thing to take a cold shower--it's another to do you taxes, read that book, make that apology, wash those dishes, not eat that box of cookies, finish that project... whatever it is that requires self-discipline to get done.

Ultimately, to me, self-discipline has a lot to do with paying attention and remaining conscious of your goals (a subset of "paying attention"). Constancy of purpose, consistency of action.

For me, the answer is no--cold showers wouldn't help build discipline. There are other benefits, as the other answers show. The biggest disadvantage is that it's a cold shower.

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