Ice Bath at Home: How Long to Stay in an Ice Bath?
Why Take Ice Baths at Home?
Although not a new concept, cold exposure therapy is a bio-hack that’s been increasing in popularity. As more experts such as Wif Hof, Ben Greenfield, and Dr. Rhonda Patrick are revealing the benefits of cold exposure, it’s hard not to notice.
While certain cultures such as the Nordic have been aware of the numerous health benefits that cold exposure has to offer, scientific research has verified the claims of these long-time practitioners. If you’re wondering whether or not cold exposure is worth the short-term discomfort, just consider the many lasting benefits:
- Enhancing immune system function
- Improving injury recovery times
- Increasing tolerance for pain
- Speeding muscle recovery
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving sleep quality
- Preventing injury
We’ve put together this quick and handy guide so you can have an easier time getting started with taking ice baths at home. Let’s jump in!
First, Prepare Your Mind for the Frigid Waters
When you’re first starting out with taking ice baths at home, you’ll want to learn how to quickly calm your nervous system. Some people practice gentle humming, while others put headphones in with some soothing music
By taking steps to calm yourself, you activate the parasympathetic system, which boosts nitric oxide production so your cells are more receptive to oxygen. Aside from calming your nerves, it’s important to pay close attention to your breathing when you first enter the frigid waters. One tip is to enter the ice bath while holding your breath after fully exhaling.
Begin with the Proper Breathing Technique
Once you’re soaking in the ice bath, it’s crucial to maintain the proper breathing technique to get the most from the experience.
Before submerging yourself, start with two to three minutes of deep breathing, working to clear your mind. Simply inhale and exhale, trying to make each exhale last a little longer than each inhales.
Next, perform two to three rounds of 10 breaths per cycle of inhaling through your nostrils, followed by a long exhale. On the final exhale of each round, work to hold your breath as long as you can.
Finally, get in the water and perform 30 cycles of inhalations and exhalations while you are submerged, working to keep each breath even and steady.
Avoid the Coldest Setting When Starting
When beginning with ice baths at home, start at whatever temperature is just uncomfortable enough to still be able to make the practice a regular routine. While cold exposure is beneficial, the temperature shouldn’t be so cold that it’s a struggle to remain consistent.
As you get used to the cold, you can always start dialing the temp colder. Remember, the main objective is continuing with ice bath therapy—not trying to cope with the coldest possible temperature.
Before plunging into an ice bath, it’s good to train your body with 30 days of cold showers. This will help you learn how you’ll react to cold exposure so you can more easily manage your body’s cold response mechanisms.
How to Acclimate Your Body to Ice Baths in 30 Days
Take a 60-second-long cold shower each day. You can do this in either the morning or evening, whichever you find easier to get started with. If you find it too much of a struggle to stand in a cold shower for a minute straight, you can try intervals of in the cold water for 20-seconds and out for 10-seconds, repeated 3 times.
Start off your day with a three-minute cold shower, giving yourself Days 14 and 18 off. If at this point you’re still struggling to cope with the cold, try the interval technique from Days 1-10.
Start each day by taking a cold shower for five minutes, giving yourself Days 22 and 26 off. After day 30, you’ll be ready to plunge into the icy depths of a cold immersion tub!
How Long to Stay In An Ice Bath?
Once you’ve prepared yourself with cold showers for 30 days, it’s time to dunk in the ice bath. When starting, it's important to limit your sessions to ten minutes or less. Always consult your doctor first about the safest amount of time for you personally.
While masters of ice like Wim Hof can seemingly remain exposed to cold as long as they want, remember that this takes years of practice and having a helper monitor them.
Rather than concentrating on increasing your time in an ice bath, focus on maintaining a consistent routine. Consistency with ice baths is what delivers the greatest benefit—not maximizing your time in the ice tub.
What Do You Need to Take Ice Baths at Home?
How Much Ice Do You Need?
If you want to get the full benefits of cold immersion therapy, you’ll need to get the water down to the ideal temperature. This means you’ll need to dump 60 to 100 pounds of ice into a typical size bathtub at home, which is around 70 gallons of water. This ratio will drop the water temperature to around 50 degrees.
Needless to say, buying ice in these quantities can get expensive fast, costing up to $100 every week for only a plunge or two. RENU ice bath tanks continually maintain your ice water at your preferred temperature, ranging from 39 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clean Water is Essential for Cold Therapy
For the most use out of your ice bath tank fill-up, a high-quality filtration system and a cover are essential. Every RENU Therapy ice bath tank features long-lasting titanium components and an Ultraviolet Ozone Generator.
One key benefit of this system is that If the ultraviolet light bulb goes out, you can easily see it needs to be replaced, so you always know your water is clean. Every RENU cold therapy tub also comes with an insulated cover, keeping debris out so you can enjoy the water that’s always fresh and ready.
Enjoy the Benefits of An Ice Bath Any Time
RENU Therapy makes cold water immersion tanks 100% in the USA by hand, and each one comes with an industry-leading warranty. Contact RENU Therapy today and enjoy the benefits of ice baths at home without paying for ice every week!