Updated: Aug 15, 2022
There's a reason ice bathing also called Cold Water Immersion or Cold Hydrotherapy has been trending lately - it has an abundance of benefits. Athletes do cold immersions to soothe tired muscles from strenuous workouts. Many training rooms have had cold tubs and even cryotherapy chambers installed for their athletes.
The growing popularity has sparked the interest of many, and people are starting to do their own ice baths at home, and you can too but plunging into arctic-cold water might not sound like the most relaxing experience — but an ice bath might be worth it for the health benefits.
Believe it or not there are some great benefits to cold water immersion! We have put together 8 ice bath benefits for you to read below:
1. Ease achy muscles
After a hard workout, plunging into an ice bath simply makes the body feel good. The cold water constricts your blood vessels, which slows blood flow and relieves some of that swelling and soreness you feel in your muscles after an intense workout.
Again, though, be sure you’re only easing post-workout aches and not actual pain. If you have to push through pain during exercise, there may be an underlying injury. Don’t cover up that pain with cold as you may be delaying appropriate healing.
2. Improve workout recovery
Taking a post exercise plunge into an ice bath at 12–15°C appears to be a common practice among many elite athletes. This is believed to be a practice that would reduce muscle pain and soreness after training sessions and competitions. Some athletes prefer to use contrast water therapy, i.e. alternating immersion in cold and warm water. Many uses either ice bath immersion for a period of 5–10 min (sometimes reported up to 20 min) or alternating therapy between the ice bath plunge and tepid water immersion, each lasting 1–5 min.
3. Reduce stress
Cold water immersion places stress on the body physically and mentally. Many studies have identified the link between cold water and stress reduction. Studies has shown that athletes who anticipate in cold water therapy become calmer and more relaxed.
4. Boost circulation
Cold water therapy flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold.
5. Support a healthy immune system
The effects of cold water on the immune system have been studied widely. Cold water helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. Over time, your body becomes better at activating its defences.
6. Burns calories
The heart must pump faster in cold water and the body must work harder to keep everything warm while your submersed in a cold tub. Overall, far more calories are burned during cold water therapy than in warmer conditions i.e. hot tub therapy. The idea that drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn may be a myth, but it is a fact that cold water decreases your body temperature so much that the body must act.
7. Increase your libido
Cold water was traditionally seen to repress sexual urges. The fact is that it increases libido! A dip in some cold-water boost’s oestrogen and testosterone production, adding an edge to fertility and libido. The benefits of increased libido include more confidence, higher self-esteem, and enhanced mood.
8. Decreases the effect of heat and humidity
Taking an ice bath may decrease the effect of heat and humidity. An ice bath prior to a long race in conditions where there is an increase in temperature or humidity can lower core body temperature a few degrees which can lead to improved performance.
Who shouldn’t take ice baths?
Before trying an ice bath, it’s important to know whether it’s safe for you. Check with your doctor beforehand, as ice baths can have negative and potentially dangerous effects on people who have certain medical conditions:
High blood pressure.
Cold agglutinin disease.
Your doctor can also help assess whether you’re dealing with an underlying condition. While ice baths can ease your aches and pains, they aren’t the right choice if you’re dealing with something more pressing, like a fracture, a tendon or ligament tear, or another injury.
Training and competition creates an overload to stress the body, which in turn produces fatigue followed later by improved performance. What athletes do after their exercise and work-out regime can affect their muscle recovery. The post exercise routine can impact both fitness and sports performance. It is thus important to have an after-exercise recovery plan. Some recommendations include:
Sufficient rest to allow for natural recovery to occur
Gentle stretching that helps the muscle to recover faster
A necessary cool-down period versus stopping immediately and abruptly
A Proper balanced diet
Adequate fluid replacement
This list is sometimes followed by alternate hot and cold baths or shower and contrast water therapy. As there is still a lack of evidence with these therapies, further research will be required to investigate the different hot to cold time ratios, the appropriate mode of contrast treatment and the duration and the optimum water temperature needs to be examined to closely verify its effectiveness as a recovery modality. A holistic approach to recovery will give a better response rather than an isolated recovery technique.
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Buying a new wood fired hot tub is always an exciting experience, but there are so many options to choose from and can sometimes be difficult to narrow down the best wood fired hot tub for your needs. Penguin Spas is here to help. Our mission is to help you choose your perfect wood fired hot tub for you to enjoy and relax.
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About Penguin Spas Premium Outdoor Living
Here at Penguin Spa Premium Outdoor Living, we are passionate about delivering the best quality hot tubs, best in energy efficiency, great value for money, and unbeatable customer service. Our friendly team is here to help you choose the right hot tub for your needs and your budget.
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Since 2012, Penguin Spas Outdoor Living have been devoted at creating and supplying elaborate products which are all designed to help improve people’s health, wellbeing, wellness, and happiness.
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Outdoor Living Premium Range
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Address: Thornhome House, Yieldshields, Carluke, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, ML8 4QD
Telephone: 0800 112 3886 or 01555 729 607
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