Getting Cold Feet
Do you stretch? Do you roll over? Do you think to yourself “nope” and go right back to sleep?
What do you do when you wake up?
Have you ever twisted your body around to hang your legs over the side of the bed, and reached your feet towards the ground directly into a cold bucket of water?
This is your challenge for the next 10 days. Because that’s what the 3rd President of the United States of America did for 60 years every day. Thomas Jefferson is an exemplar of what it means to learn something for yourself by thought, experimentation and dedication.
After reading a book called “The History of Cold Bathing: Both Ancient and Modern in Two Parts” (which was written in 1706) Jefferson thought about bathing and what it meant to him. Then he tried something related that he thought would benefit him by thinking about it by himself. In America, growing up, I took a shower every day in the morning. Why? When I moved to Japan, I started taking a bath every night. Why? Which way is the right way?
According to Jefferson’s thoughts, waking up and putting his feet in cold water it drastically reduced the frequency in which he caught common colds. So he continued to do that for sixty years. Every morning, putting his feet in a buck of cold water. Clearly nowadays the benefits of a cold bath or cold shower are well known to world-class athletes for recovery and muscle healing. And I am not a scientist but I can easily believe the story that cold water causes blood vessels to contract and the process of re-heating to normal body temperature size has a lot of positive effects in clearing them out and increasing the blood flow – which must be a good thing for the body.
As Jefferson is quoted as saying “I rise with the sun” regardless of whether he slept late or early. Having this kind of consistency to wake up at the same time is much more valuable than making sure you get “your seven hours of sleep.” We believe that starting the day at the same time, every day, and having a morning routine that you can track and feel good about is going to dramatically improve your outlook on every single day you start. That’s why at Project Nudge we believe the morning routine is essential. If you can wake up and get your exercise done before doing anything else – whether it’s a run, jog, yoga, lifting, tennis, whatever – you are going to have the mindset that you can do anything with the day ahead.
So try a routine. Wake up and go right to the bathtub and put your feet in cold water (or have the bucket prepared the night before) and see what happens after 10 days. Nothing? Think about trying something else. We hope you try this President Cold Water Bucket Challenge and share your comments with us.