Archive for the ‘cold showers’ Tag

Keep Going   Leave a comment

This morning when I woke up I wasn’t feeling well. I had a really bad headache and was tired, even though I had just slept the night away.  The easiest thing to do in that situation is just go back to bed.  I have a job that offers paid sick leave, so why not just call in, roll back over, and go back to sleep.  But the easiest way isn’t always the best way.

I had another choice I could make.  Get up and get moving and see how things played out.  So I headed to the bathroom, took some Advil, and took a shower.  When I shower I start off with a warm shower to wash myself, and then finish off with a 5 minute cold shower.  This, as you might imagine, usually wakes me right up.  Not so much this morning.  I was still a little tired and the headache was still there.

After my shower I will meditate for about 20 minutes.  So I lay there in my bed and tried to meditate.  With a pounding headache that wasn’t so easy.  But I persisted.  Over the course of the 20 minutes the headache lowered in intensity but was still there.  The relaxing while helpful for my headache left me even more tired.  I would usually take a 15 minute walk after the meditation but I knew that wasn’t happening this morning so I went straight for my morning coffee.

The coffee helped a lot.  But still not feeling 100% and a bit ahead of schedule since I didn’t do that walk, I decided to give myself a short nap.  I told myself if I still felt under the weather when I woke up I had permission to call in.  I set the alarm for 45 minutes later and laid back in bed.  A little before the alarm went off I woke up on my own feeling way better.  My headache was gone and I felt alert and awake.  I got dressed and headed into work.

At work today I was paired off with a female coworker to do a job.  It was just the two of us so we could speak freely.  We had a great conversation and had a lot of fun hanging out, I mean working, together.  It made my day.  And it wouldn’t have happened if I had just called out, turned back over, and went back to bed.  I’m not advocating ignoring your body and pressing on no matter how much your body tells you to stop.  I’m just saying don’t give up right away. Try to make a day of it.  If you can, keep going.  Who knows what your day will bring you.  What I do know is you’ll never find out if you just take the easy way out.


Waking up under the weather   Leave a comment

I’ve been getting in a short cardio workout each morning soon after getting up.  These workouts, using the new aerobic step I bought, run just 10 minutes.  Basically I’m getting the engine primed first thing in the morning to run smooth all day.  Between the 10 minutes of exercise and the minimum 3 minutes of cold shower I’m hitting the ground running when it comes to fat burning and ketone utilization.

This morning, however, I woke up feeling sub par.  I got in and got my cold shower and still didn’t seem to get going fully.  When I’m finding it difficult to get started in the morning and I know I got enough sleep my first thought is electrolyte depletion.  This is a real issue in the ketogenic diet because you don’t retain water as well.  And when you don’t retain water well you also tend to drain your electrolyte balance.  So I’ll take an electrolyte supplement to see if that works.  I’ve used Keto Vitals, and it’s really helpful, but for some reason shows as currently unavailable on Amazon right now.  Another good choice, which you can get from Amazon currently, is Nuun Hydration electrolyte tablets. Here is an Amazon Affiliate link for the variety pack, just click on the picture.

The flavors are pretty good, although some do have a slight bitter aftertaste.  But I’d say the aftertaste is worth it for how I feel after I take them.  It really does get me back on track most times.

Unfortunately this morning wasn’t one of those times.  And that’s when you need to make a decision.  I know you get a lot of advice saying “push through it” or “cowboy up” or any other variation on you just keep going anyway even though you’re sick.  Here’s my take on it.  If your car was overheating you wouldn’t go straight for the nearest incline, accelerating all the way.  That’s crazy because you’re likely to damage your engine.  Yet how often do we overlook that mindset when it comes to our own bodies, which I would hope are more valuable to you then your car.  When you are having trouble getting going, and you’ve taken some electrolytes to try and fix it and still can’t get going, take a hint.  I took some DayQuil for my stuffy nose and slight headache and got an extra half hour sleep before heading to work.  Could I have tried the workout anyway?  Sure I could, but why tax your body further when it’s already hurting.  When your body is telling you it needs more rest, treat it like you would your car, and take it easy on your body.  Trying to push through and get to your goal faster could wind up costing you a lot more then the slight delay would.


Posted 05/31/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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05/14/2018 Weigh in and a little on cold showers   Leave a comment

So I did my weekly weigh in yesterday.  I came in at 302.4 lbs and a body fat percentage of 42.2%.  So very close to the 300 lbs and 40% marker.  This was down 2.4 lbs and .5 percentage points body fat from the week before.  I did do better on meeting my Move goal every day of the week and closed all three rings on my Apple Watch on 3 of the days.  And I am doing better about tracking my nutrition using the Cronometer app (which I highly recommend if you’re looking for a good ketogenic tracker).  So hopefully this progress will continue this week and I’ll be almost at, or maybe even below, the 300 mark.

Another reason why I think I did a little better this week at my weigh in is I’ve been better about taking cold showers in the morning.  For a while I was getting one or two in a week, maybe for three minutes tops.  This past week I did  four cold showers with three minutes being the minimum.  I believe in the efficacy of cold showers and should be doing it every day but I usually let the clock talk me out of it.  Last week when I was looking for ways to get myself back on track with “good” weekly weight loss (2lbs or more for the week) I realized that I was engaged in wrong thinking about the clock issue.  Yes, on a morning when I’m heading to work adding 3 extra minutes to the shower to take a cold shower would seem like 3 minutes subtracted from something else, but in reality it’s a gain.  I say that because nothing quite gets the motor running like being under cold water for 3 minutes.  Your body really has no choice but to rev up to generate heat to offset the heat loss due to the cold water.  And that extra energy created also creates an alertness that allows you to make up the time “lost” in the cold shower by being more productive and efficient when you get out of the shower.  So the benefits of taking a cold shower aren’t just for fat loss (although the extra heating your body goes through does help there, as well as generates more brown fat, which is a good kind of fat you actually want to develop).  If you’re interested in the topic of brown fat and why you should want it (quick answer is it burns more calories) there are plenty of resources on the internet if you do a Google search for brown fat/brown adipose tissue.  If you guys would like a quick blog about it let me know in the comments and I’ll put one together.

If you’re interested in trying cold showers, this is how I got started.  First, I bought a waterproof stopwatch that I could hang from the shower curtain rod so I can time my cold shower time.  I suppose you could just “feel” how long it is but if you want to know for sure that you’re improving, nothing beats the hard facts of the readout on your stopwatch.  As for the shower itself, I start out taking my regular shower to get clean with very warm water, but you can start with whatever temperature you’re used to.  I don’t start with the cold water because I think the warm water is better for proper cleaning, and it also gives me a moment to get prepared for the switch.  If you want to just go straight cold that’s fine but I’d take a few moments before getting in the shower to get yourself mentally prepared for the shock to your body the cold water will give you.

After I’m done with the actual shower part I switch the water to pure cold.  My shower allows me to adjust pressure and temperature independently, but if you have just the one knob on your shower turn it all the way down to the point where you have just enough pressure so the water is coming out at you and that should be the strictly cold water feed coming out.

When I first started I set my goal for 30 seconds and was shivering by the end. From there I increased the time by 30 seconds per cold shower until where I am now.  One of the side benefits of cold showers is along with fat burn and brown fat creation, you also build a bit of mental discipline.  At this point I can easily go 8 minutes without shivering.  Part of this is adaptation, the other part is mental discipline telling my body not to shiver.  The reason you want to learn not to shiver is that shivering defeats the growth of brown fat because your body doesn’t need it if it can just use the muscles to shiver you warm.  That’s why babies have so much brown fat.  They haven’t developed the shiver response.  As adults we have, so we have a lot less brown fat.

One of the ways you’ll know you’re creating more brown fat is when you take the cold shower, even as long as 8 minutes like I do on the weekends, and after you get out your body goes back to warm quickly, but you didn’t shiver at all.  You’ll notice as a side benefit that you don’t get the cold feeling as much throughout the day either.

So that’s this week’s blog post.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.  And I’ll see you again in a week for the next update.

Posted 05/15/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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