Cold water immersion (or “cold plunge”) involves submerging yourself in ice-cold water at home physical therapy clinics or specialty recovery studios for several minutes.
Cold water temperature causes vasoconstriction, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation, speed muscle recovery, boost immune systems, and increase circulation in your body.
Cold water immersion has long been utilized as an effective therapeutic and preventative health practice, offering numerous health benefits that enhance physical performance, mental wellness, and recovery goals. A favorite among elite athletes, celebrities, and wellness influencers, it even featured at some of the finest spas and wellness centers worldwide!
Cold water immersion causes your blood vessels to narrow (known as vasoconstriction), sending more blood toward organs like your heart and lungs and providing additional oxygen throughout your entire body.
Increased circulation reduces inflammation, speeding recovery from exercise and alleviating pain. Furthermore, increased circulation increases norepinephrine levels, improving mood and energy while decreasing cortisol, which provides calm relaxation.
As with any cold exposure, extended exposure to freezing temperatures should be done cautiously and at home using an ice tub or outdoor cold plunge. You could also try full-body cryotherapy sessions available only through specialist facilities like doctor’s offices and sports medicine rooms.
Some fitness and wellness facilities provide cold plunge classes, including Remedy Place in New York City and California. You can book one-off sessions or join their membership program; in addition to this service, they also provide IV drips, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, lymphatic compression therapy, acupuncture treatments, and more!
Before embarking on an ice bath experience, it is recommended to consult with your physician. Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease, and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not enter cold water, nor should anyone feel faint while participating. Drinking lots of fluids before and after an ice bath session is also advisable.
Cold water immersion has quickly become one of the latest wellness fads. Celebrities, athletes, and other influencers tout its mental and physical benefits – such as increased metabolism, energy levels increase, inflammation, and even anti-aging benefits – but how much should one expect to pay? There are so many products on the market with different pricing structures – should you expect any surprises when shopping for your cold plunge tub?
Some cold plunge tubs can cost as much as $5,000 to keep water at 39 degrees Fahrenheit flowing throughout. Lizzo’s Cold Plunge tub for home use costs $4,990, while Joe Rogan’s BlueCube tub costs nearly $16,000 – both are higher-end models available, though more affordable models may also exist.
Tru Grit Inflatable Ice Bath can be purchased for less than $250, making it one of the more cost-effective cold plunge tub options. Easily inflatable within five minutes, it comes equipped with a carrying backpack for convenient transport and can be filled using most garden hoses while preserving an internal temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum enjoyment!
The top cold plunge tubs also include features like a seat, step stool, and non-slip mat for comfortable entry and exit from the tub. Some tubs even come equipped with timers for added convenience; it is essential to keep a towel nearby to dry off after each plunge, as some people choose to wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, and gloves during their experience.
Before engaging in an ice bath experience, it’s wise to consult your physician first, especially if you have health conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure. Yet the benefits of a cold plunge can make the effort worthwhile; its cold temperature constricts blood vessels, helping reduce swelling while providing energy-boosting stimulation and revitalizing effects on the body. Furthermore, cold plunge can increase circulation while simultaneously releasing endorphins and strengthening immune systems – alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and enhance sleep quality.
Ice baths and cold plunging have become increasingly popular among athletes and non-athletes, seeking ways to maximize athletic performance and recovery. Cold water immersion may increase energy levels while simultaneously improving circulation and reducing inflammation – constricting blood vessels and decreasing swelling could alleviate muscle soreness faster and speed recovery times.
At-home ice baths come in various shapes and sizes. Some resemble standard bathtub designs, while others resemble cedar wood buckets that can be used inside and out. Most options can accommodate two to six people simultaneously depending on your group size, with some featuring timers letting you set how long to spend in the tub while others feature filters that filter out debris or bacteria before entering.
When planning to use an ice bath outdoors, ensure it features a secure cover to protect it from wind and other elements while saving on electricity needed to keep the cold temperature of water constant. Furthermore, ensure it features a temperature gauge to monitor its progress as it changes over time.
Studies suggest optimal ice bath temperatures between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are new to taking an ice bath, start slowly with just a few minutes in the beginning, gradually building up time until you reach longer sessions in cold water. Take caution and leave when you feel dizzy or shivering, and discontinue use as soon as you feel dizzy or uncomfortable.
Contrast therapy, also a form of cold therapy, alternates hot and cold treatments to reduce inflammation and increase circulation in athletes. While typically employed at professional sports facilities, fitness studios, and gyms now also provide this form of cold therapy for their members. Individuals also increasingly purchase cryotherapy machines – which expose individuals’ bodies to freezing air temperatures (as low as -230 degrees Fahrenheit for short durations in private rooms) — to increase healing.
An ice bath may seem counterintuitive, but it’s one of the best ways to improve circulation and reduce inflammation – making it an indispensable component of any fitness regime. From quick shower dips to full body immersions in cryotherapy chambers, there are numerous options for people interested in trying this trend – although finding one suitable to you might prove challenging!
To assist, we enlisted a few experts as advisors. They shared what they’ve learned through years of dipping their toes in pools and offered tips to maximize your experience. They’ve also included helpful notes regarding temperature capabilities; certain tubs can go even colder than what is recommended by researchers.
Immersion therapy dates back millennia, yet it became popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts through the Ice Bucket Challenge’s viral revival in 2014. While no consensus has been reached regarding when or how often to immerse in freezing water, research suggests numerous positive benefits. It can help alleviate pain caused by intense exercise, increase muscle cell activity, and speed recovery time.
Be mindful that cold temperatures may cause vasoconstriction, leading to heart and blood pressure problems in specific individuals. Therefore, before trying anything new, consult a physician – mainly if any preexisting conditions exist.
At home, the best ice baths range from DIY converted chest freezers and plastic tubs at one end to wood and metal art pieces with app-controlled thermostatic regulators that let you set your ideal temperature at the other. Even at lower price points, however, this remains one of the most affordable ways to experience all the advantages of cold plunges; additionally, it can fit multiple people, making it perfect for group events or workouts where everyone needs some relaxation afterward.