Are you feeling sluggish and tired? Do you need a pick-me-up that goes beyond your morning coffee? Then you might want to consider taking a plunge into cold water! Cold water immersion may be a little intimidating when you start looking into your first cold plunge experience. Cold therapy has a plethora of health benefits that are worth exploring. A common reason cold plunges are rising in popularity is their unique ability to reduce inflammation. So, let's dive into the world of cold plunging and explore how to do it safely and effectively.
HOW TO COLD PLUNGE IN 6 EASY STEPS
Step 1: Find the Right Location
The first step to enjoying the benefits of cold plunging is finding a suitable location. While a pool or lake might be ideal, you can also make do with a bathtub or even a cold shower. If you are going to use a tub or cold shower, be sure the temperature ranges from 37-60 degrees. If this is your first time using cold therapy this may be a great place to start before venturing into any natural bodies of water.
Step 2: Prepare Your Body
Many people want to dive right into the cold water, but it’s important to prepare your body before entering the water. The first thing many people do is warm up with a short 10-minute exercise such as yoga or stretching. These exercises will help get your blood flowing and will help transition into the cold water. Lastly, many elite athletes swear by taking a warm shower before they hop in to help their bodies adjust to the cold. This will help ease your body into the cold water and reduce the shock to your system.
Step 3: Ease in Gradually
Once you're in the water, start by immersing your feet and lower legs first followed until you reach the desired depth. If you know of any breathwork routines, now is the time to use them! Take deep long breaths to allow your muscles to relax. After a few cold therapy sessions, you will become more comfortable with the cold and be ready to increase your time and temperature.
Step 4: Stay in for a Short period
When it comes to time, experience matters. Try not to stay in the cold water for too long the first time you take a cold bath or submerge in a lake. Start by immersing yourself for just thirty seconds to a minute and see how you feel. Over time you will feel more comfortable and will be able to extend the time. When you are comfortable with the cold, the ideal time to aim for is one to ten minutes of cold water exposure.
Step 5: Warm up Gradually
After you've finished your cold plunge, it's essential to warm up your body gradually. The first thing I recommend is taking a warm shower or bath. This will not only feel AMAZING but will also help your body adjust to the temperature change and prevent any kind of shock to the system.
Step 6: Be Consistent
Like most things when it comes to reaping the full benefits of cold plunging, you should implement this into your normal routine. At first, try to cold plunge at least once per week, and increase the duration and frequency as you become more comfortable with the cold. It is very common to start feeling the benefits right away, but the full benefits of sleep and energy will likely come with time.
There are many ways to cold plunge and reap the full benefits of cold therapy. Whether you are trying out the cold in a bath or shower or braving the elements of a lake or stream, consistency is key here. Building your tolerance to the cold may take more time than others! Just remember to run your own race and everyone's body responds to the cold differently.
Happy cold plunging!
If you would like to view the top 9 cold plunges of 2023 VIEW HERE!