Cold water therapy, also known as cold water immersion, is a holistic technique in which the body is submerged in cold water below 58℉. There are numerous benefits to cold immersion, and taking ice baths is one of the most effective ways to experience these benefits.
It is important not to exceed the limit of 10 minutes when taking an ice bath. But beyond the time you should spend in the tub, how many times a week should you do it for the maximum benefits? Let’s dive in and find out!
Cold Water Therapy and You
Cold water therapy has numerous health benefits. It helps reduce pain and swelling. It is also beneficial for the immune system. Since it increases blood circulation, it is a great way to make your heart healthier and improve blood pressure. It can also help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
Additionally, the benefits of cold water therapy extend beyond our bodies—as a holistic approach, it also benefits our mental health. Many people use this technique to become more mindful and help sync their bodies and minds. Cold water immersion also helps get rid of stress and improves sleep quality.
What You Need to Know About the Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a Dutch athlete known for his ability to endure the unusual cold. He ran a half marathon on ice barefoot, climbed mountains wearing shorts in extremely cold temperatures, and is most known for immersing himself in ice baths for long durations.
Wim Hof pioneered a cold endurance technique known as the Wim Hof Method. The three main principles of this method are breathing, cold therapy, and commitment. Let's examine each.
Breathing - we are always breathing, but we barely ever pay attention to our breathing patterns. Conscious deep breathing reduces stress, makes us feel energized, and enhances immune system function.
Cold Therapy - frequent and consistent exposure to cold is another pillar of the Wim Hof Method. Immersing your body in cold water through ice baths or cold showers brings multiple benefits to the body, like a stronger immune system and reduced muscle swelling.
Commitment - cold water immersion can be difficult and uncomfortable for many people. That's why the third principle of the Wim Hof Method is commitment. Exposing our bodies to cold demands conscious deep breathing, patience, determination, and commitment.
How Often Should You Cold Plunge Therapy in a Week?
We often see athletes hopping into a cold bath after intense physical activity. The best time to reap the benefits of cold water therapy is right after doing an intense exercise. You will get the maximum benefits if you jump into the cold shower or ice bath quickly after your workout session.
This practice will prevent your muscles from becoming sore, and you won't have to deal with cramps as often.
Cold water therapy is also helpful for people who suffer from injuries and those who have recently had surgery. While it's not a magical solution for dealing with injuries and post-surgery pains, it does assist in healing your body faster and reducing swelling.
When it comes to the number of times one should go for cold water therapy in a week, there is no definite answer. However, studies have linked health benefits with performing CWI at least four days per week on average.
Just remember, if you are new to cold water therapy, start slowly. As with workouts, start slowly to build a beneficial habit through consistency. For beginners, try easing into cold-water immersion two to three times a week.
Benefits of Cold Water Therapy
Cold water therapy has amazing benefits for both our bodies and minds. Let's look at some of the benefits that make cold water immersion worth getting into.
Good for the Immune System
Though more research is needed in this area, a lot of data does confirm that cold water therapy helps the immune system. Stress reduces our immunity, and since cold water therapy alleviates our mood and makes us feel relaxed, it automatically strengthens our immune system.
Exposure to cold also makes our body toughen up. Cold water immersion also cleanses our bodies by flushing out wastes and toxins.
Cold water reduces inflammation and increases blood circulation throughout the body. The sooner you hop into an ice bath or cold shower, the fewer chances there are of muscle cramps.
CWI constricts the blood vessels in our muscles, and when you get out, they dilate back open. This contraction and relaxation help to flush out waste from your muscle tissues.
Cold water therapy is also good for inflammation. Immersing yourself in ice-cold water slows down swelling. It constricts the blood vessels and numbs the body's nerve impulses. This helps with inflammation relief and pain management, speeding up the recovery process.
That's why it is a common practice to treat injuries and aches with ice packs.
Choose Only the Best Cold Therapy Tubs
If you have decided to start cold water therapy, choose only the best quality cold therapy tubs. Our cold water tanks are handmade with always-cold-and-clean technology.
Our tubs boast a bold modern design that complements the aesthetics of any home, and multiple color options ensure the perfect aesthetic match.
Get your cold water immersion safely and enjoyably without compromising on quality and design! Contact us at 714-617-2007 at RENU Therapy today.
Cold Water Immersion FAQs
Is cold water immersion safe?
Cold water immersion has a risk of hypothermia or cardiac arrest, but this can be avoided by following the safety precautions. Do not immerse yourself in cold water for more than ten minutes and if you are new to the process, start with two or three minutes.
Always discuss with your doctor before starting the cold water therapy, especially if you have heart conditions.
Are cold water plunges healthy?
Yes, the cold water plunges are healthy as they benefit your body by increasing blood circulation, improving the immune system, and cleansing the body.
Just follow the safety recommendations!