A Scots dad has come up with the perfect cure for lockdown blues – plunging himself into a bath of freezing cold water every morning.
Hardy Michael Young has been starting his day by sitting in a bitterly cold bath in his Glasgow back garden for ten minutes.
With the recent freezing temperatures from Storm Darcy, recruitment worker Michael kicks off his morning routine with a dip surrounded by snow lying deep on the ground.
The 44-year-old began experimenting with putting freezing water on his body in December after reading about the health benefits online.
He began by simply blasting cold water from the shower for 30 seconds at a time and built it up to taking to freezing lochs and waterfalls.
Michael, originally from Bonhill, has an added motivation with his efforts by also raising money for the West Dumbartonshire Community Foodshare group.
But with fresh lockdown restrictions on travelling, Michael bought a £28 pound portable pool from Ebay at the start of the year and has been enjoying his early morning routine ever since.
He said: “I had been in a few groups on social media that talked about how cold water can benefit you physically and mentally so in December I started giving it a go.
“I think a lot of people have struggled with lockdown and have been looking for things to keep their minds active.
“It started with a 30 day challenge and I felt great so have kept doing it.
“I can’t travel just now so I’ve bought a wee party pool off Ebay for £28.
“But I mean folk can do it anywhere they want- people could do it in their wheely bin in the morning if they wanted.
“A lot of people I have been doing this with are from West Dumbartonshire, where I’m from, so I thought it was also important to give something back with the charity.
“It’s something I would strongly advise people on.”
A video from Michael on Twitter shows the Scot’s determination as he walks topless through his garden before breaking the ice to sit in his pool.
Many people keep their experiences of freezing water to New Year dips or charity challenges like the Ice Bucket challenge in 2014.
But the health movement is growing increasingly popular with Michael inspired by Taking the Plunge movement.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has often been seen swimming in cold water.
Michael added that his wife Louise and children Bryce, six, and Bell, eight, were looking at his new routine with interest.
He said: “I knew it could have been a really cold, dark winter but I have found this has put me in a really good place.
“I just sit there and feel it take my breath away.
“It is a really nice community to be part of with everyone encouraging each other.
“MY daughter has been jumping in a cold bath but that is more for a laugh.
“My advice for anyone starting would be to take it slow to begin with.
“Try 30 seconds in the shower and add another 30 seconds everyday.
“I’ve definitely seen the benefits of doing it and it’s now something I enjoy as part of my morning routine.”
And Michael added: “I think with everything people think at the start ‘he must be crazy to do that’. Then they start doing it themselves.”
To donate to Michael’s challenge click here.
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