Last Updated on September 19, 2023
Picture this: You’re standing on the precipice of an icy pool, the water’s surface glistening in the sunlight. With a deep breath, you take the plunge into the cold abyss. While it might sound intimidating, cold plunges have gained popularity for their potential health benefits. From invigorating your body and mind to aiding post-workout recovery, the practice of cold plunging offers a myriad of advantages that go beyond the initial shock of icy waters. For instance, Hailey Bieber declared that cold plunging is a very important practice for her to deal with anxiety.
In this article, we explained the cold plunge practice in depth: what the ideal temperature for a cold plunge is, how to cold plunge at home and how long is ideal for a cold plunge.
What is a cold plunge?
A cold plunge is when you dip yourself into very cold water for a short time. The cold water can make your body feel better after exercising and can also make your mind feel more awake and happy. In fact, a cold plunge can be done anytime you want as it’s a perfect way to give your body and mind a little boost.
The benefits of cold plunges
Cold plunge benefits are backed by both anecdotal evidence and scientific research. Many individuals swear by the exhilarating feeling of jumping into cold water and the subsequent rush of energy. But beyond the invigorating sensation, there are several scientifically proven advantages to cold plunges. Here are some of the benefits of cold plunges.
Improved circulation and recovery
Submerging yourself in cold water causes blood vessels to constrict, promoting improved circulation as they subsequently dilate upon exiting the water. This process, known as vasoconstriction and vasodilation, can help alleviate muscle soreness and enhance overall recovery. Cold plunge after a workout can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting efficient healing.
Enhanced mental clarity and mood
Cold plunges are not just a treat for the body, they can also work wonders for the mind. The shock of cold water triggers the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones responsible for boosting your mood and reducing stress. Additionally, the invigorating experience can help you get away from brain fog symptoms and leave you with a sense of mental clarity and alertness.
Support for the immune system
Emerging studies suggest that regular exposure to cold water may have a positive impact on the immune system. Cold water immersion has been linked to an increase in white blood cell count and a potential boost in immune function, though more research is needed to fully understand these effects.
Pre- and post-workout benefits
The timing of your cold plunge matters. Taking a cold plunge before your workout can help prep your body by increasing alertness and blood flow. Post-workout, a cold plunge aids in reducing muscle inflammation and speeding up recovery.
What is the cold plunge temperature?
The generally accepted safe temperature range for cold plunges is 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius) as research indicates that maintaining this range can help with muscle soreness at its best.
How to cold plunge at home
The allure of cold plunges doesn’t have to be restricted to high-end facilities. You can create your own cold plunge experience at home by taking these steps:
- Preparation: Find a container or tub that’s big enough for you to comfortably sit or stand in. It could be a bathtub, a large bucket, or even an inflatable pool.
- Fill with cold water: Fill the container with cold water. You can use tap water or add ice to make it colder. Remember, the water should be cold but not painfully freezing.
- Temperature check: If you have a thermometer, check the water temperature. Aim for around 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius) for a good cold plunge experience.
- Dip in: Gently step into the cold water. Start with your feet and slowly immerse yourself. Take deep breaths to help your body adjust to the cold.
- Stay for a short time: Stay in the water for about 2-5 minutes, depending on your comfort level. You can gradually increase the time as you get used to it.
- Warm up afterward: Once you’re done, warm yourself up with a cozy towel or a warm drink. This step is crucial to prevent your body from losing too much heat.
- Repeat regularly: For best results, consider incorporating cold plunges into your routine a few times a week. You can adjust the frequency based on how your body responds.
- Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body reacts. If you feel too uncomfortable or experience any negative sensations, it’s okay to stop. Cold plunging should be challenging but not harmful.
On the other hand, if you’re on the hunt for a more holistic wellness experience, consider seeking out local saunas or wellness centers that offer cold plunge facilities as part of their amenities.
To sum up
Cold plunges are more than just a daring escapade into cold water – they offer an array of health benefits that are both invigorating and restorative. From improved circulation and faster recovery to a brighter mood and potential immune system support, the advantages of cold plunges are rooted in science.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance your performance or someone seeking a refreshing way to boost your overall well-being, the cold plunge is a practice worth considering. So, why not take the plunge into the world of cold water therapy and uncover the remarkable benefits that lie beneath the surface?