In December 2008, I did a post titled No Jacket Required. It detailed my experiment with cold weather exposure. At the end of that winter I shared my results in the post Still No Jacket Required. Since I didn’t post about it this past winter, you might be wondering if it was a one time test. Nope. I did it again.

When I returned from the heat of Thailand back to Seattle in December, the temperature was in the 20s for a few days. During that week, I wore either a long sleeve shirt or a sweater. Then it seemed like we didn’t really have a winter. Very few days were in the 30s. There were mostly days in the 40s. As a result, I didn’t wear a coat once last winter. I almost always wore short-sleeved shirts. The adaptation that I went through last winter carried over.

A kindred spirit! Photo Winter Party by Watt Dabney

At an art walk recently, someone remembered my test from the previous winter and then noticed that I was the only person in shorts that wasn’t the slightly bit cold. He inquired how to develop this skill. Here are the two tips I shared with him.

  1. Wear Fewer Layers – This is the best strategy to pursue during colder weather. The discomfort goes away quickly, especially if you are moving. The body learns how to be comfortable at a wider range of temperatures.
  2. Cold Water Rinse – At the end of every shower, do a cold water rinse. Aim the cold water at your shoulder blades, legs and arms. It doesn’t have to be ice cold. Work up to it. When I started with 30 seconds of moderately cold water, it really shocked my system. Now I can yawn through 3 minutes of an ice cold water rinse. This strategy is perfect for the summer and is probably the reason my first winter adaption carried over.

Why would you ever want to do this? Check out My Cold Weather Challenge To You.