The First Input: Environmental Extremes

One of the things I’m keen about is getting clients to do the next, best action toward a goal. That is, given your life right now, what action can you take toward where you want to be?

What can you do on your worst day that moves you in the right direction?

That’s the basis of my “essentials” blog post.

Here’s how I’m implementing cold and heat in my life.

  • “Cold” shower of 3 to 5 minutes when I wake up. I use quotes because we’re in Texas and it’s not really “cold”. It is cool enough to be bracing and cause a mild shiver.
  • I also spend my days in a facility that is <67* F year round. I wear short sleeve shirts and slacks.
  • On Tuesday or Wednesday, I take an cold bath. This means running the water cool and adding a 10lb bag of ice plus a couple trays of ice cubes. In the summer that means <70 degrees. I sit in this for 15 minutes, telling myself not to shiver.
  • On Thursday, I do my 5 minute treadmill sprint interval (fasted, naturally) before spending 15 minutes in a hot bath, meaning >105*. I’m trying to drive heat adaptation.
  • On Saturday during the summer, we run the town lake trail no matter the temperature and then we go to Barton Springs or Deep Eddy, which are <70* year round. So I get a bit of both: training in heat and a cold dip. During the winter, I run plan to run cold, since I’ll warm up.

Since the run and cold dip are not novel (we’ve been doing them for years now), nor is the hot bath (which was my mother’s home remedy for EVERYTHING), the only “additional” habits have been the cold bath and the cool shower. The good thing about the shower is that it’s so early that I can’t think about it, and the cold bath is only once a week, so I am “ready” for it when it comes around. That one actually takes the most willpower, since I’ve attached the other habits to things I already do as a “trigger”, as BJ Fogg notes here. This makes starting the action much easier.



3 thoughts on “The First Input: Environmental Extremes

    1. Environmental stressors provide health benefits. Like everything that is “good” for us, we tend to WAY overdo it. This was my commentary on how I apply some of these findings without turning it into a religion or identity.

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