The Benefits of Cold Plunge Therapy Explained

The Benefits of Cold plunge therapy Explained

Looking for a way to improve your health and wellbeing? Discover the amazing benefits a cold plunge can offer with this ultimate guide to cold plunge benefits. In this blog, you’ll learn about the numerous physical and mental health effects of cold plunging and why it’s an amazing way to take care of your body. If you’re ready to take the plunge into better health and wellness, read on to learn more.

Key Takeaways

Cold plunge therapy is an age-old practice of immersing yourself in cold water to provide numerous health benefits to the body.

Cold plunging benefits include: promoting healthier circulation and overall well being, strengthening your immune system, reducing stress, and even improving skin and hair health!

Cold plunging is generally done for 3-5 minutes per session, four times per week, but for beginners, you can start with a light shower prior to the cold plunge to prevent shock.

•Ease into the cold water slowly, focusing on proper breathing techniques and trying not to rush the process.

Combining cold plunging with other therapies such as sauna can provide even more benefits. 

•Keep in mind to always consult your physician before starting cold plunges.

What are Cold Plunges?

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Cold plunging is a type of cold water immersion in which you submerge yourself in a specially designed plunge tub filled with icy-cold water. The temperature can range from the freezing 0°C to 4°C or even lower.

Cold plunge is a popular recovery technique among athletes who want to reduce muscle soreness after a particularly strenuous workout. Moreover, it is also for those looking for a more natural way to relax. With cold plunging gaining more popularity, many are starting to understand its benefits and the effects it has on their body.

How a Cold Plunge Helps the Body

Improve Circulation

The cold plunge is an effective way to promote healthier circulation and overall well-being. When you take a dip in a cold plunge tub, your body is subjected to a rapid change in temperature that causes the blood vessels to constrict, pushing the blood towards the vital organs and increasing the heart rate.

This shock response floods the body with oxygen and nutrients, reviving and replenishing the organs with energy. The improved blood flow is then sustained throughout the day, contributing to a healthier circulatory system. With regular cold plunge sessions, you can expect to experience profound long-term benefits.

Reduce inflammation

Cold plunges reduce inflammation in the body causing constricting the blood vessels. This reduces the flow of blood to any area that is experiencing pain or discomfort, like a sports injury, which helps to decrease swelling and inflammation. Cold plunges are a great way to naturally help your body heal and stay healthy!

Boost Immune Functions

Taking a plunge into cold water can be an incredible boost to your health. It activates the white blood cells that are responsible for fighting off sickness, and it also causes the lymphatic system to contract—pushing fluids through the lymph nodes. This process helps detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system. Studies have proven that cold plunges can reduce upper respiratory tract infections significantly.

Specific Health Benefits of Cold Plunges

Reduce Muscle Soreness

Studies have shown that cold water immersion can be highly effective at reducing the effects of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) after intense physical activity. This is the sore and painful feeling in your muscles after you have done intense exercise.

This effect is likely due to its natural pain-relieving properties. Cold plunging is a great way for athletes and fitness fanatics alike to give their bodies the relief they need after an intense workout session.

Increase Alertness and Energy

A cold plunge bath can provide a quick pick-me-up and can help you be more energized. Plus, regular use can deliver long-term effects. When you take a cold plunge bath, you’ll experience immediate increases in alertness and energy. It can also result in improved mood, reduced inflammation and soreness.

In the long run, regular cold plunging can help you get focused, and decrease stress and anxiety. 

Improve Skin and Hair Health

Taking a cold plunge in a cold tub can provide numerous benefits for skin and hair health. Cold water helps to close your pores, protecting against dirt and bacteria from entering the skin. It can also help in reducing inflammation and redness, and boosting circulation which leaves your skin with a radiant glow.

Not only does the cold water help with the skin,  but it can also leave your hair looking shinier and healthier too. If you’re searching for more reasons to turn down the heat in the shower, this is a great one – softer skin and vibrant looks await!

What are Cold Plunges Good For?

Post-Workout Recovery

By taking a cold plunge tub within two hours of finishing your workout, you can experience a number of important benefits. When done correctly, cold plunges can help flush away lactic acid build-up. It can also reduce inflammation, and promote better circulation throughout the body. 

These effects can lead to quicker recovery times. Additionally, because cold plunges are known to stimulate endorphin production in your brain, they can also help to improve your mood after a challenging workout.

Stress Relief

Cold plunging is a great way to reduce stress. By exposing yourself to the controlled shock of cold water on a regular basis, your body gradually gets used to it and develops a resilience towards it. This adaptation also extends to other sources of stress. This is because cold plunging helps reduce cortisol levels – the hormone that is released when you’re under stress. Repeated cold water plunging can help your body develop a stronger reaction to and better handle all kinds of stress.

How to Cold Plunge 

How Long Should I Take a Cold Plunge?

Generally speaking, three minutes is considered the target time for cold plunges. That should be enough to take advantage of benefits such as better blood sugar regulation and increased fat burning.

However, focus more on what feels comfortable for you. Try going as cold as possible for as long as it is comfortable. You can start with shorter durations and build up to longer sessions if you are feeling up for it. Also make sure you consult your physician before starting cold plunges.

Taking a cold plunge can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers. To ensure you experience the most beneficial effects from cold plunging, we recommend to start with a five-minute cold shower prior to taking the plunge. This will help your body adjust to the cold temperature and make the plunge easier on you.

How Often Should I Cold Plunge?

Experts suggest having three to four sessions of 3-4 minutes/session per week. For a beginner, however, it is best to take it slow and start with just five minutes of cold plunging per week.

Regarding workouts and cold plunge, it is best to not do any cold plunging immediately after your workout session. Instead, pick days when you’re not exercising and use the cold plunge tub as a form of recovery.

In case you still want to have a cold plunge session after your exercises, keep it light, and take shorter sessions. Also, make sure there is at least one hour between your workout and cold plunge.

Tips and Safety precautions

Photo Credit: Youtube: Pernilla Stryker

Cold plunge therapy is a great way to give your body the cooling sensation it needs for improved overall health. To reap the most benefits from this age-old practice, here are some tips to get you started on your cold plunge journey.

1. Start Slowly and Gradually Increase Your Time

Don’t rush in starting cold plunge therapy, start slowly and ease into it. Start by taking a cold shower for 1-2 minutes and gradually increasing the time each day until you are comfortable being in cold water for up to 5 minutes. This will help your body get used to the sensation of cold temperatures without shocking it too much.

2. Find a Quality Cold Plunge Tub

The quality of your cold plunge tub is essential to getting the most out of your therapy. To get the best results, try investing in a tank with a built-in, chemical-free filtration system. This will help keep the water clean and sanitized all the time so that it won’t irritate your skin.

3. Ease Into the Cold Water Slowly

As you get more used to cold plunge therapy, try easing into the cold water slowly. Don’t jump in head first – this could be too much of a shock for your body and might make you want to abandon the cold exposure tank prematurely.

4. Focus On Proper Breathing

To get the most out of your cold plunge experience and help your body relax, focus on proper breathing. Deep inhales and exhales can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. It can boost nitric oxide levels in your cells, making them more receptive to oxygen.

Start with a 2-3 minute routine of deep breathing through your nostrils to prepare for cold conditions. During your session, work through 2-3 sets of ten breathing cycles of inhaling through the nostrils and humming on long exhales (on the 10th exhale, hold in the air as long as safely possible).

Wrapping Up

With a ton of benefits that cold plunging offers, it’s no wonder why this practice has a resurgence in recent years. Are you ready to take the plunge as well? Contact Shym Saunas for our collection of cold plunge and spa products, and enjoy the benefits of cold plunge therapy in the comfort of your own home!

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