Curious about Cold Water Therapy? Here’s How it Works, and Why You Should Try it.
Do you seek out new ways to naturally elevate your health?
If you’re like us, we’re constantly learning how to improve our body’s well-being — and cold water therapy is one of our favorite health boosters.
Is your curiosity piqued?
Let’s dive into what cold therapy is, its benefits, and some ways you can practice it.
What is Cold Water Therapy?
To break it down, cold water therapy is an immersion process where you allow your body to spend time in cold water that’s below 58 degrees fahrenheit. This type of therapy activates the body’s natural healing abilities and helps relieve chronic illness — promoting better health and overall well-being.
There are a few different methods you can choose from to receive benefits — including ice baths, brisk showers, outdoor swims, and cold plunges. Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to stay in cold water, that’s below 58 degrees, for three to eight minutes.
Cold water therapy works best with the right combination of time and temperature. For example, if you’re in a 38 degree river, we’d recommend a three minute session. Maybe you’re at the beach? In a 50 degree ocean, we’d recommend making your session a bit longer. Try five minutes.
Of course your body knows best. It all comes down to what works well for you.
A Modern Day Tool with Ancient Roots
Let’s rewind for a minute.
If you’re a history buff, you might be interested to learn that cold water therapy has been around for millennia as a way to boost personal health. Hippocrates is often credited as the first person to document the health benefits of cold water therapy in medicinal practices — using it as a way to treat swelling and pain. However, this method was also used by ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations.
Fast forward a few thousand years to the modern era, and you’ll find that cold water therapy has continued to gain traction as a natural remedy.
Why, you may ask? Let’s dive into a few reasons.
Health Benefits of Cold Water Therapy
Whether you want an immune system boost or you’re looking for a way to treat your muscles, cold water therapy works wonders on the body.
Stay Healthy. Stay Happy.
A strong immune system is something we all strive for, especially when it comes to flu and cold season.
Being immersed in cold water stimulates leukocytes — white blood cells that help fight off sicknesses. It also causes the lymphatic system to contract, forcing fluid through the lymph nodes. This process provides detox benefits, as well as added immunity support.
By using cold water therapy as a natural remedy, you can give your body a healthy boost.
Say Goodbye to Sore Muscles
Have you ever woken up the morning after a day of hard exercise with sore muscles? We certainly know the feeling.
Athletics can take a toll on your body, whether you’re playing at a competitive level, building muscle, or just trying to stay in shape. Weight training, running, and game play can all strain your muscle fibers and make them tender.
Soaking in cold water for short periods of time after exercise can help relieve soreness, which is why you see a lot of athletes taking ice baths after practice or game play. The immersion in cold water squeezes out any lactic acid build up and inflammation that’s caused during exercise.
If you’re weight training or endurance training, we recommend reading this blog post on the ins and outs of training and ice baths.
How to Incorporate Cold Water Therapy into Your Life
Don’t just take our word for it! If you want to enjoy the benefits of cold water therapy for yourself, we’ve got a few ways to help you get started.
Take a Dip in an Ice Bath
Ice baths are a great option if you want to try cold water therapy at home. Fill up your tub and add ice until the temperature reaches somewhere between 50 and 59 degrees fahrenheit. Stay immersed in the water for about three to five minutes. If you’re a beginner, start here and then get out to see how you feel. As you become more comfortable with cold water therapy, try working your way up to eight to 10 minutes.
Try a New Shower Routine
Showers are one of the easiest ways to incorporate cold water therapy and begin training the nervous system to comply with the temperature change.
Start with warm water and after a few minutes, gradually lower the temperature to what you can handle for about 30 seconds. Repeat the hot to cold transition about three times. You’ll find your whole body feels invigorated afterwards.
Keep in mind that hot and cold showers are especially effective during the winter months when the cold setting on tap water is a bit chillier than the rest of the year.
The Sauna House Cold Plunge
Ahh, yes — the cold plunge! This is one of our favorites for bodily wellness. We set our plunge pool to 53 degrees fahrenheit to rejuvenate your body from head to toe.
If you want to try the cold plunge, we recommend sitting in heat for 10-15 minutes before getting in the cold plunge for 3-5 minutes. Relax until you feel hydrated and ready to go again.
Ready to Get Started?
New routines can be hard to start and stay committed to. We get it. We’ve been there.
If you’re in need of a little extra motivation, we invite you to jumpstart your cold water therapy routine with us at Sauna House. You’ll have access to saunas, cold showers, and of course, the cold plunge.
Whether you’re seeking a health change or a wellness boost, we hope you feel more confident getting started. Feel free to try these methods at home or come see us at Sauna House. We are always happy to answer questions and help guide you through the process.