Last updated: Aug 20, 2008
shower

Gwendolyn Witherspoon, 54, of Baltimore, came across her stay-healthy secret—an icy shower—during a power outage. “I felt great afterward,” she says. A year later, she says her chilly regimen keeps her cold-free, her skin glowing, and her energy level higher than ever.


The scientific jurys still out on cold showers, but Mary Ann Bauman, MD, author of Fight Fatigue: Six Simple Steps to Maximize Your Energy, says theres no harm in trying. Devotees claim cold showers help with low energy, migraines, circulation, and pain reduction, in addition to enabling women to age gracefully. (Some even argue that theyre the French womans secret to firm breasts.)

Make cold showers work for you: Try small doses. Witherspoon limits her 10-minute cold showers to summertime; in the winter, she opts for a 1-minute blast at the end of a warm shower. Consult your doctor if you have cardiovascular problems, because the sudden chill can cause a spike in blood pressure.