COLD PLUNGE

Be honest… How many times a month do you get on social media and see someone posting a video of themselves stepping into a cold plunge? Follow up… how many times do you see those posts and think, “No way am I ever doing that?” 

 If you aren’t already doing cold plunges… it’s probably pretty often. 

The good and bad news is… the active cold plunge people aren't losing their minds. The benefits far outweigh the pain of the few minutes of cold exposure. 

 

Cold Plunge Benefits: 

  • Eases Sore Muscles. This is probably the most well-known benefit. We have all seen athletes stepping into an ice bath after a game or an especially hard workout. Being exposed to the cold constricts your blood vessels and slows down blood flow. This helps relieve some swelling and soreness you would feel in your muscles after an especially hard workout. 

  • Reduce inflammation. This goes along with easing sore muscles! When you are exposed to cold temperatures, you are increasing your heart rate, blood flow and oxygen intake. These all will help with easing inflammation. 

  • Mental Health. The science behind cold plunging and mental health is still being studied, however many people claim that consistent cold plunges have helped them with anxiety and stress management. During the short-term cold plunging boosts your dopamine and endorphins. This contributes to a feeling of focus or mental clarity. Also, by exposing yourself to the cold, learning to control your breathing and your mind- you are exercising those mental muscles and building coping habits that connect your mind and body. 

  • Healthy Metabolism. Some studies show that cold exposure activates brown fat, which burns more energy to warm the body. This uses calories and will help give your metabolism a boost. 




 
How to Cold Plunge: 

First and foremost — if you are wanting to start incorporating cold plunging into your weekly routine, it is always best to consult your doctor. Especially if you have any underlying conditions, are underweight, have a sensitive heart or respiratory problems, are pregnant or are sick. 

Perhaps the best news of all is that a cold plunge is meant to be short! Woohoo! This is great for everyone, but especially if you are just starting out. 

Let’s say you are about to jump into your first cold plunge… Here are a few tips. 

  1. Keep it short. You can start with 30 seconds and slowly build up over time, and eventually reach the 3-minute mark. 

  2. Start warmer. A seasoned cold-plunger is probably sitting around 53 degrees (no colder than that). To start out, warm it up a little. 68 is a great starting point! 

  3. If you aren’t ready for the full-blown plunge, start by ending your showers with cold water! End your warm shower with 30 seconds of cold water and slowly add time over the following weeks. 

With most things, it is important to start slow and ease your way into the longer, colder exposure! If you don’t have a place for an ice bath or cold plunge at your home, look online for a cold plunge facility near you. A lot of spas are adding them to their menu, and often you can reserve by the half hour or hour. 



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