Cold Showers (Part 5) – Joy

Find Joy“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

~ Joseph Campbell

This is the 5th and final post of this cold shower series (at least for now as I continue to discover more remarkable benefits in taking cold showers). Lately, when I have extra time such as on weekends, I have been playing around with temperatures, going back and forth from hot to cold water and from cold to hot water. Going from one extreme to the other is a great way to detoxify your body as blood rushes inwardly toward the organs with cold water (trying to conserve heat and protect our vital organs) and then blood rushes outwardly toward the skin with warm water (revitalizing skin and improving circulation). I also use a luffa to exfoliate dead skin cells and to lightly massage my body which aids in lymphatic drainage. In a previous post, I shared my goal of remaining relaxed while under the extreme pressure of cold water (yes, it is at the coldest setting in case you were wondering). After achieving this goal, I am now trying to take it one step further.

In my book ‘One Habit At A Time’, I promote the habit of high-quality breathing to induce relaxation throughout the day. This helps to lower stress significantly. In the next chapter, I promote the habit of smiling to induce inner joy which will further reduce stress. Therefore, I decided to try and see if I could get joy out of taking a cold shower. I always feel great afterwards but during the shower, it is difficult to actually enjoy it. How can you enjoy something which feels almost torturous at times? :) I knew this would be a difficult challenge, but it offered another opportunity for growth.

After a few weeks, I am truly enjoying my cold showers most of the time. It took a while before I could even enjoy one. But with a little persistence, failure began to turn into success. Day after day I would psyche myself up before each cold water blast. Talking, yelling, singing, dancing and praying…I tried everything to bring inner joy out of my being so that I could conquer this challenge. Eventually, I could draw out my inner joy simply by tuning into it and by mindfully enjoying the experience of the cold water enveloping my body.

How has this challenge benefited me? With this practice I find myself getting more enjoyment out of each day. Things which I used to find ordinary, tedious, obnoxious or dreadful are not too bad anymore. I try to squeeze as much joy out of them as possible. On the flip side, I now find the joyous occasions that much sweeter. It’s as if the inner joy just gushes out and it feels absolutely incredible.

Anyway, I hope you liked this series and I hope it motivates you to take on the cold shower challenge (30 days of cold water showers). There is a tremendous amount of growth waiting for you on the other side. If you do accept the cold shower challenge, I would love you to share your experiences with it here in the comment section below.

Have a joyous day,

Sal Crispo

Cold Showers (Part 2) – Energy

Endorphins“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”

~ Aristotle

After overcoming the fears and the critics in my mind, I immediately stepped out of the cold shower and felt empowered and invigorated. I did not give in to the allurement of comfort. I did not succumb to the discouraging voices in my head. Each time I conquer the cold shower challenge it is a moral victory which leaves me mentally pumped. I find this to be the perfect way to start my day.

People want to start their days with good energy so they can be more productive and live more fully. For this reason, the coffee and energy drink industries make billions of dollars a year selling their products. The main problem with these products is that most are loaded with processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and a list of other harmful substances which have many negative side effects and are highly addictive. Not to mention, the boost in energy is artificial and mostly comes at the expense of your adrenal glands. This is a major reason why adrenal fatigue is so prevalent nowadays.

Conversely, cold showers release natural hormones (endorphins, testosterone, etc.) which have strong health benefits. Also, I find the energy boost I get from cold showers lasts several hours. During the work week, I wake up at 5:00 am so I will take all the energy I can get. I am in the industry of motivating people to live at their best therefore, the last thing I need is to be tired. However, I have dedicated my life to real health thus I consciously choose not to support the artificial energy industries. I want to be a model of health so that I can inspire others to do the same. If I am consuming 5 coffees or Red bulls a day for my energy then I am not promoting real health (I am not living at my best). After all, actions speak louder than words. I understand some people may have a hard time without their artificial stimulants and this is why I am offering an alternative here with cold showers. This is something you may want to consider. It may save you from some unwanted health issues and save you some money too – cold showers are free!

Wishing you real health and energy,

Sal Crispo

5 Simple Habits To Boost the Quality of Your Sleep

Bear Insomnia Cartoon1. Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime

The autonomic nervous system is divided into 2 main parts – sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). These 2 systems have an antagonistic relationship. For instance, you cannot be in a heated argument and completely relaxed at the same time. Stimulants activate the sympathetic nervous system (S.N.S) and will disrupt the quality of your sleep which is a parasympathetic nervous system (P.N.S) activity. Some common stimulants to avoid before bedtime are caffeinated drinks, bright lights and extreme emotional highs (such as heated arguments). Before bedtime, it is best to make the habit of creating an environment of relaxation. Continue reading

Team Spirit!

I cannot believe how quickly the Universe can change your life. About 18 months ago, I met Phil Delaire at a fitness conference and he welcomed me with open arms to join his high-performance team at the Granite Club. Thank you Phil! Since then I have focused all my efforts on establishing myself at the club and doing this has been extremely fun. I have met so many wonderful people and developed some great friendships with colleagues, members and clients. I could not imagine a better place to work. And I say the word ‘work‘ lightly because it does not even feel like it at all.

As fun as these past 18 months have been, I really miss writing and I look forward to starting up again. Recently, I was very inspired by my colleague Mark Mancino (a.k.a. The Real Food Guy). Mark was behind the 30 Day Real Food Challenge which was supposed to only bring together 20-30 people and amazingly, Continue reading

“One Habit At A Time” E-Book Release

Hello,

About 2 years ago, I set a goal to write my first book. Well, it gives me great pleasure to announce its completion and that it has been released today July 19, 2010. Before I say more, I would like to give you a personal explanation of why and how this book was created.

Why I wrote One Habit At A Time:

From the instant I picked up my first health (nutrition) book, my life would dramatically change. I was about 19 years of age and I was in for the biggest shock of my life. Initially, I felt fortunate to have come across this book but at the same time, feelings of anger began to set in. I thought to myself, ‘why has no one ever taught me any of the information in this book?’ After all, this information is vital and it could improve one’s life considerably. Why were my parents not privy to this crucial information? Why did I not learn about this information in school (after 15 years of schooling)? Why were we not informed of this by the news networks or the media? After this experience, I could have easily become jaded, instead I became compelled to read on to other similar resources. Continue reading