A strong and healthy immune system is the key to good health, it is the body’s natural defense system against infection and disease. A healthy immune system can fight off invading bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that can cause illness. There are many ways to strengthen your immune system, but one of the most effective is cold water immersion (CWI).
Cold water immersion is a great way to boost your immune system and improve your overall health. There are numerous benefits gained from cold water therapy, including increased energy levels, improved circulation, and reduced inflammation.
And when you’re looking for a way to improve your health through improved immune system function, cold water immersion is one of your best options. Let's look at the science behind this therapy and how you can enjoy the benefits at home.
Cold Water Plunge - The Science Behind It
There is a reason why cold water immersion is gaining popularity as a method for managing pain and improving recovery. The science behind cold water immersion indicates that it can be an effective way to reduce inflammation and pain, promote healing, improve recovery time, and support a healthy immune system.
Cold water immersion therapy works by using the body's natural response to cold temperatures. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, the blood vessels constrict and the blood flow to the skin and muscles is reduced.
This process reduces inflammation and pain. In addition, the reduction in blood flow means that there is less swelling and bruising.
Research on cold water swimmers found that they have more resilient immune systems. In a study following 85 subjects who regularly participated in cold water swims, the data revealed they had 40% fewer cases of upper respiratory infections than those in the control group.
Why Cold Water Therapy?
Through cold exposure, the body's natural healing powers are driven to respond. Microscopic tears in muscle tissue recover faster, metabolic systems activate, and sleep quality improves. Here are two common reasons people enjoy cold water therapy.
Improves Blood Flow
Cold water immersion helps boost cardiac output, improving blood flow and circulation throughout the entire body. By submerging the whole body in an ice bath, it's possible to achieve reductions in high blood pressure.
Reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Strenuous exercise produces exercise-induced muscle damage. This leads to muscle soreness long after. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is best treated with ice baths. Establishing an ice bath routine after intense exercise can both reduce soreness levels and the length of the recovery process.
Cold Water Plunge for a Stronger Immune System
There's more evidence every day for the benefits of cold water exposure. For example, one study in the journal from the Public Library of Science (PLoS), discovered people who take cold showers are nearly a third less likely to call in sick to either their school or job.
While the participants who took cold showers didn't call in sick for work as much, they didn't report fewer sick days. One explanation the researchers came up with is that cold showers could reduce the severity of a person’s illness symptoms, enabling them to keep on going with their normal daily lives.
Interestingly, no difference was found between those who took cold showers for 30-second, 60-second, or 90-second time spans. This could mean exposure to cold water triggers the body’s immune system regardless of duration.
Studies have also found that cold therapy can increase levels of leukocytes. These are white blood cells that fight foreign entities and diseases. When people jump into ice baths, their body stimulates the production of leukocytes.
With a regular cold exposure routine, you can help boost your body's ability to ward off illness and disease.
How to Do Cold Plunging
For starters, keep in mind you're not competing with Wim Hoff himself. You can reap the benefits of cold water immersion right at home. Of course, you'll want to clear yourself with a professional healthcare provider, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Once you're ready to start your own cold water therapy routine, follow these simple steps.
Prepare the Water Temperature
When you're cold plunging at home, you'll need to be careful to precisely set the water temperature. This should be between 39℉ and 55℉ to stay safe.
Get Warm Clothes Ready
Once the water is cold enough to get in, make sure you have a towel and warm clothes ready for when you get out. It's best not to hop into a hot shower, which can increase your core temperature too quickly.
Set Your Timer and Get In
Now set your timer to somewhere between 1 minute to 10 minutes. Take a deep breath, then exhale slowly as you slide into the cold immersion tub. Be sure to watch your breath, focusing on consistent, full breaths instead of sporadic and shallow ones.
Hop Out and Warm Up
Once you're finished, dry off and put some warm clothing on to slowly bring your muscle temperature back to normal.
You'll start to feel the cutaneous blood flow warming your skin back up as you approach your optimal temperature again. Just give it time and don't rush the process.
Support Your Immune System with Our Cold Plunge Tubs!
RENU Therapy's cold water immersion tubs are 100% hand-made in the United States. These premium tubs also feature the best warranty on the market for 100% customer satisfaction!
Forget the hassle and expense of loading your bathtub with ice. There's no reason to get DIY to enjoy CWI. RENU Therapy's cold water immersion tubs come in the perfect size for you so you're always comfortable when immersing yourself in cold water.
Each tub is designed to serve as an integral part of your home's aesthetics. Whether minimalist or grand, RENU Therapy has you covered. Browse our cold tubs and find the one that perfectly fits your needs.
To start benefiting from cold water immersion, contact us at 714-617-2007 at RENU Therapy today!
Cold Water Immersion FAQs
Is cold water immersion good for you?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests cold water immersion delivers many health benefits. Most often, this includes reducing inflammation and pain, along with helping to speed up the healing process.
How long should you stay in cold water immersion?
The longest you should practice cold water immersion is for ten minutes at a time. However, most people stick within the 1-minute to 5-minute range.
Are cold water plunges healthy?
While more research is needed to confirm everyone can enjoy the same benefits, cold water immersion is generally safe and can be a helpful addition to your health care routine.