What is Cold Water Immersion?

What is Cold Water Immersion?

There are some clear health advantages to submerging yourself in cold water, also known as cold water immersion (CWI). As an increasing number of health influencers, celebrities, athletes, and trainers will gladly attest.

UFC star @justin_gaethje in the cold stoic.

Additionally, recovery is a crucial component of training since it helps to reduce the chance of overtraining and injury while fostering physical and mental readiness. Cold water therapy is crucial as it maintains an athlete's peak performance during periods of hard training or competition.

Numerous rehabilitation therapies, including massage therapy, foam rolling, electrical stimulation, whole-body vibration, compression clothing, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and cold water therapy, have been developed and used as a result of the recognition of their significance.

Cold water therapy has gained popularity among sports scientists as a popular rehabilitation technique since it can shorten recovery times and lessen the delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

What You Need to Know About Cold Water Immersion

Cold Exposure, also known as cold water immersion or cold therapy, is the deliberate and controlled exposure to cold water. The effects of cold water immersion, cold shower, ice bath, and cold water therapy are eight times greater than cryotherapy also known as cold air exposure.

Exposure to an ice bath will elicit multiple positive adaptations in your body.  Typical temp ranges are from 32°F to 59°F. The higher the temp, the longer exposure time you will need to reap the benefits.

What are the Benefits of Cold Water Therapy?

What are the Benefits of Cold Water Therapy?

  • Instant mood boost with a release of norepinephrine and dopamine.
  • Combats inflammation and arthritis with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Boosts your immune system with an increase in white blood cells that help the body fight infection and other diseases.
  • Boosts your metabolism and helps with weight loss.
  • Improves your circulation.
  • Increases thermogenesis which controls your own heat.
  • Heightens your discipline and focus.

Promotes Lymphatic Drainage

Lymph drainage massage promotes lymphatic movement and can have the following benefits, improves blood circulation and helps improve blood flow. It also boosts energy and promotes alertness. In addition, it can relieve stress while promoting better sleep.

Stimulates the Vagus Nerve Boosting Your Well-Being

The Vagus nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions, such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as vasomotor activity, and certain reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting

How Often Should I Practice Cold Exposure? 

The answer is based on your objectives:

  • As needed for attitude adjustment or mood Boosts. These occur immediately every time you cold plunge!
  • Daily for four to six days to help reduce inflammation
  • Five to seven days per week for health and well-being benefits. It takes about six weeks before you start to notice changes in your body.

How Often Should I Practice Cold Exposure?

How Long Should I Stay In?

Ideally, it should be between one to 9 minutes, not exceeding 10 minutes. The average is between two to five minutes. It is not about how long, it is about the “fight or flight response” in your body. This is where all the health benefits happen!

When You First Start, You Should:

  • During the first 10 Sessions, try to approach between one to two minutes
  • During sessions 10 to 20, try to approach between two to four minutes
  • After 20 sessions, at this point, you will know what your “baseline time” is and you will want to know your “baseline. " This will let you adjust your cold-water immersion based on your objectives for your body and health.

I have Inflammation Because of Post-Workout or Injury

When you are working down inflammation from sports, injuries, or both, it is best to push yourself to stay in longer than your “baseline time”. Longer exposure will help decrease inflammation.

Note, however, that it is recommended to do multiple sessions to further decrease your inflammation.

Health & Wellbeing - Daily Maintenance

If your objective is to reap the multiple health benefits and get your daily mood booster, then you should use your “baseline time” for time duration.

Attitude Adjustment

If your objective is to get a quick boost of norepinephrine & dopamine and change the way your day is going, then your duration should be anywhere from 30 seconds up to your “baseline time”.

Having a bad day, lost your tennis match, or you’re in a funk that you just can’t get out of, jump in the RENU Cold Plunge!

Quick Start to Cold Plunge

The best way to do cold water immersion or cold water therapy is to couple it with breathwork. You do not need to do breathing work every time, but for an ideal experience, it is best.

If you know who Wim Hof is, you will already know that breath work will help:

  1. Decouple your pain receptors for a longer cold-water immersion
  2. Improved Sports Performance
  3. Stress reduction
  4. Better sleep
  5. More focus and mental clarity
  6. Allows you to get into a more meditative mindset

With Breath Work

With Breath Work

While you are in the Cold Plunge | Extended Exhale Breathing Practice

Time: The entire time you are in the cold water

Directions for 5 or 10 Counts of Extended Breaths

  1. Before entry, sit on the RENU Breath Deck and do 20 deep Wim Hof-style breaths
  2. Once in the cold tub, get situated with water up to your collarbone
  3. Start breathwork, each breath starts with a deep nasal inhale followed by an extended exhale. Extend your exhale as long as you can
  4. Keep counting your cycles in your head or use small stones or coins to help count. In a meditative state, it’s easy to lose count.
  5. By going slow on exhalation, you will be extending your time in the cold water.
  6. Pro Tip: Push your cycles for max time and track how long you can stay in on five or 10 breaths. 

Without Breath Work

Time: Use your "baseline time" and your objectives to guide you


  1. Get in and get situated with the water covering your collar bone at your neck
  2. Start timer.
  3. Keep your hands in as long as possible. Take them out as needed, as hands are the hardest part.
  4. Less movement is better.
  5. Put your hands back in your last 10 to 15 seconds.
  6. Exit by standing up, and sitting on the Breath Deck. Once secure, swing your feet out onto the step.

Get Started on Your Cold Water Immersion with RENU Therapy's Cold Plunge Tank

To get started, you should look for a cold plunge tank that can give you a wonderful cold water therapy experience at any time when you're ready to enjoy cold water immersion.

When you need fresh, ice-cold water the most, RENU Treatment handcrafts premium-grade cold therapy tubs for you. Our baths can enhance even the most opulent homes and workplaces thanks to their finely completed appearance.

To learn more about our cold plunge tanks, you may fill out our online form or contact us at 714-617-2007 at RENU Therapy today!