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樟蔭レポート

Just over a year ago, I started to do something very strange. Most people will think I’m crazy but is has actually become part of my morning routine every day. After my breakfast, I brush my teeth, then I take a cold shower. Ice cold. After two or three minutes in a warm shower, I turn off the water heater and just use the cold water to finish my shower.

It’s something I started doing back in December 2020 after I learned about a man from Denmark called Wim Hoff, nicknamed “The Iceman”. He holds several world records and has achieved some incredible (and crazy!) feats. For example, he has climbed Mount Everest wearing only a pair of shorts and run a half marathon in the North Pole barefoot wearing only shorts. He has also swum under polar ice for 66m without a wetsuit and sat in an ice bath for 1 hour and 52 minutes- a Guinness World Record.

According to Wim Hoff, the cold is “your friend,” and recently there has been various scientific research into cold exposure and its health benefits, including reduced inflammation in the body, improved blood circulation and better hormone levels. The combination of cold exposure and breathing techniques seem to be the most beneficial for the body, and since I started using Wim Hoff’s methods, it’s true that I have never felt better.

Recently, I took my cold exposure to the next level by swimming in the Seto Inland Sea in December on a trip to Awaji Island. Of course, I was the only person in the sea on that day, and the few people that were on the beach looked at me as if I were completely crazy. But the feeling I had afterwards was indescribable. I was freezing cold, but I felt very alive. I don’t think I’d like to climb Mount Everest wearing only shorts, like Wim Hoff, but it would be a good experience to try more outdoor activities such as swimming in lakes or standing under waterfalls, instead of just standing under my shower at home.

Winter this year has been a lot colder than usual, and the cold showers in the morning have been a very tough but rewarding challenge. Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to the blooming of the cherry blossom and the warmer days to come.

– Robert Normile.

 

Glossary.

  • Water heater 給湯器
  • Achieve incredible feats ~偉業を成し遂げる
  • Barefoot 裸足
  • Polar ice 極氷
  • Cold exposure 寒さにさらされること
  • Health benefits 健康上の利益
  • Reduced inflammation 炎症削減
  • Improved blood circulation 血行促進
  • I have never felt better 過去最高の調子
  • Indescribable 言葉では言い表せない
  • Rewarding やりがいのある