Cold Shower Bandwagon

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Motivational speakers convince thousands to take cold showers every year. Many articles speak to the mental health and physical benefits of cold showers. Studies even support how cold showers help participants feel more energetic and ward off severe illness symptoms.

But how cold is cold?

Didn’t Know

A highly experienced health coach told me to start taking cold showers to strengthen my muscles. I had heard similar comments since high school but always wondered how cold the showers needed to be. So, I asked.

The coach looked at me in wonderment. No one had ever asked her that question before. Nor did the coach have any idea what the answer was.

The coach admitted that all of her clients just started taking cold showers. No one had ever questioned it. She then suggested I just turn the knob all the way to cold and shower.

Nooooo!

Water temperatures are very different in every location. The temperature of cold water in Phoenix is nowhere near Chicago’s temperature.

Calculating Cold Water

Groundwater is different from lake water. The location of the groundwater determines its temperature. Here is a formula for well water to determine the temperature of the water in your shower.

In wells that are 30-60 feet deep, the water temperature is 2-3° above the annual mean temperature of that location. Deeper wells are colder and more shallow wells warmer.

Where I live, the well water is 44°F (6.7°C). But, our area uses Lake Michigan water which is 33°F (0.5°C). Either way, no one in their right mind is going to take a cold shower with the lever turned all the way to the cold. Those who attempt it are playing games with hypothermia.

The Right Temperature

Selecting the correct temperature results in our bodies becoming more resistant to stress. We see an increase in endorphins that can help prevent many diseases. The mental benefits of hydrotherapy include reducing depression.

The cold water temperature used by those in the medical community is often 70°F (21°C).

This temperature increases metabolism, improves circulation, and fights common illnesses. I found many documents and studies giving testimony to these benefits. The better news is that you only need to take a cold shower 2-3 days a week for 2-5 minutes to gain the benefits.

Your Responsibility

I talked with several people who try to gain benefits from cold showers. Every one of them took showers that were colder than necessary. They described how they would shake and moan through the process, knowing the benefits would make the daily experience valuable to them.

While 70°F (21°C) feels very cold, it’s far better than the 33°F (0.5°C) water that some foolishly take because they never asked how cold is cold enough.

When we consider new experiences, crowds of people will push their plausible solutions on us with vigor. We saw this happen with the experimental COVID vaccinations. Many forgot that the drugs were experimental with no documented significant human outcomes prior to the rollout.

Regardless of the pressure from others, consider how cold your water is compared to theirs. If they live in Texas and are not making sure their water is at 70°F (21°C), they may be taking a warmer shower compared to the 33°F (0.5°C) shower a person in Chicago might experience.

Respect Our Differences

We all face different circumstances with different perspectives. No one understands what others face without a fully open conversation. Unfortunately, most people that pressure others to consider their solution rarely listen to learn if the other person’s circumstances match ours.

We need to respect the thinking process of others. We also need to give them the respect to make their own best decision. After all, it’s their life.

Each person has the right to take a warm or cold shower when given the opportunity.

So, if you’re game, try taking a 70°F (21°C) shower and see if you feel great about the results. But avoid accidentally taking a 33°F (0.5°C) shower, or you might think the cold shower recommendation is only for the insane.

By the way, as a gauge, if you stick your wrist in the shower and it feels very warm, but not too hot, it’s probably about 105°F (40°C).

Let me know how your cold shower goes.

Copyright © 2022 by CJ Powers

Franklin’s Recommendation Helps Us Today

Toward the end of summer in 1772, Joseph Priestley required help from his friend, Benjamin Franklin. Priestley was a scientist, theologian, and liberal political theorist. 

Joseph Priestley

His dilemma was deciding between the acceptance of a scientific opportunity that would provide him a full lab, and continuing his ministry within the Unitarian church. Priestley wrote Franklin, hoping for a clear response. Instead, of suggesting an answer, Franklin explained his weighted process for difficult decisions.

The process was a weighted version of what we consider today as a pro and con sheet.

Franklin instructed Priestley to fold a sheet of paper in half and write the word “Pros” on one side and “Cons” on the other. He was then to write down all pros and cons that came to mind over a four-day period.

The four days were important to Franklin because humans think in groupings (or chunks) of ideas. When one grouping is at the forefront of our minds, it blocks other thoughts from coming forward. Franklin explained that our minds never think about the pros and cons at the same time. 

Benjamin Franklin

Once we write down the abbreviated central idea of each, we can forget about it and move on to other ideas worth capturing.

Franklin also suggested Priestley weigh each item based on the impact of purpose. 

At the end of the four-day process, Franklin recommended a review of the two lists. If there were similar items across from other items, Priestley was to strike through the words.

It’s important to use a single line to strike the words so they are still readable.

Franklin explained that if there was a single similar, yet more heavily weighted item in one column, across from two lesser weighted items, all three can be struck at the same time. Any combination of similar items that equates to a balance of weighting can be marked at the same time.

By following this pattern, Priestley quickly reduced the complex decision down to a couple of key factors. This made his decision simple. He left the ministry and opened up an incredible science lab.

This decision led Priestley to discover a process that creates Oxygen used by first responders and hospitals ever since.  Priestley described the O2 as being “five to six times better than common air.”

Copyright © 2022 by CJ Powers

Tyson’s Run—Review

Tyson’s Run is about a teen boy who wants to be the son his father always wanted. Tyson is a 15-year-old, played by Major Dodson (The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Left Behind), who wants to be accepted by his father, but his autism stops him from being a star on his father’s champion high school football team.

Tyson realizes that homeschooling won’t help him with algebra because his mother can’t teach him what she doesn’t understand. Together, the two push for Tyson to attend the high school where his father coaches. While some students pick on Tyson, most respect him because of his dad’s reputation.

After school, Tyson notices Aklilu, played by Barkhad Abdi (Blade Runner 2049, The Pirates of Somalia, and Captain Phillips), running around the track. He instinctively joins in and soon learns that his body can’t keep up with the marathoner without the needed skills. Aklilu shares some words of wisdom that inspire Tyson to desire to be a champion marathoner and get his father’s attention.

There are many heartfelt moments in this film that Dodson initiates with ease. Some of the actors excel in this production like Amy Smart (Stargirl, Rat Race, and Just Friends) as Tyson’s mom. While others seem to be cutting their teeth for the first time without the proper preparation.

The production length or schedule may have been tight. In a film of this type, the character of Tyson needs to show improvements in running techniques from the start of the film to the end. An autistic child with the hyper-focused determination to run a marathon would certainly gain techniques each week.

The director, Kim Bass (Day of Days, Kill Speed, and Junkyard Dog), knew the importance of demonstrating this development. In fact, we see it demonstrated in Tyson’s Spanish class. His biology class also demonstrates his ability to focus on body parts and their definitions in more depth than any student or teacher.

But we didn’t see Tyson’s flat-footed running and stiff-armed movements benefit from his hyper-focus. His running methods at the end of the film seemed to match the beginning of the film. It’s as if the director never sought a running coach for developmental insights.

Aside from the lack of realism concerning Tyson’s growth, the film invites viewers into a wonderful conversation about the authenticity and heartfelt drive all teenagers face. More importantly, we see the sometimes-misguided views parents hold when they refuse to let their teens grow up.

This is a good film for the entire family to watch together. There are enough challenges and perspectives faced in the story to launch a real conversation with all ages of family members. And for those who prefer entertainment without lessons or politics, this film checks off all the boxes of an underdog story overcoming their shortcomings.

Also, the subplot about Tyson’s dad working through his ignorance demonstrates how a little bit of information provided through kindness can alter the lives of many. This is done with a backdrop that the dad is not a fool, but a highly respected man in the community. The juxtaposition of respect and ignorance helps the audience realize that all differences should be addressed with kindness, not anger.

The film opens this weekend in theaters. You can learn more about the movie on their website. You can also purchase tickets in advance. Director Kim Bass has worked hard to make this film a success for your family to see in theaters, so take time to check it out.

Copyright © 2022 by CJ Powers

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