Cold plunges are the practice of immersing yourself in cold water to shock the system and benefit from the results. It has got a lot of publicity in recent months as it has become incredibly popular. However, it is actually an ancient practice that dates back to the days of Hippocrates. Cold plunges have enjoyed several revivals since the ancient Greeks made a habit of jumping into freezing water and the last year or so has seen another rise in the popularity of the practice, but how do you utilize cold plunges to improve health?
There is a multitude of health benefits that are said to come from taking a cold plunge. Everything from improved circulation to better mental health and lots of things in between are said to be helped through the practice of utilizing cold plunges. There is lots of science to back this up too. For example, circulation is improved because the cold constricts circulation around your body, meaning that more blood goes to your core to protect your vital organs.
How To Prepare for A Cold Plunge
To utilize a cold plunge properly, you need to prepare your body for it. After all, you want to benefit from the health advantages rather than shocking your body into cardiac arrest.
Before your plunge, you should prepare your body by using breathing exercises. Take deep breaths to slow your breathing down and even hold your breath for a second or two to help you relax and slow down. This will help you to deal with the shock of the cold during your plunge.
Taking a cold shower will cool down your body and make the plunge less of a shock to the system so it is best to do this directly before you get into a cold plunge pool.
How To Get the Best Results
Make sure you feel comfortable. It may be that you feel more relaxed in the plunge pool of your favorite gym or spa, or you may prefer to splash out and invest in one of your own. The best cold plunges are the ones that make you feel most relaxed, as this will help you to enjoy the benefits.
Take it slowly. Your body might not enjoy the experience if it is too cold, especially at first. Start with a temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As you get more used to taking plunges you can start to lower the temperature if you want to.
Commit to the experience. Dipping one toe in at a time will not give you a lot of health benefits and it will probably put you off the experience altogether. You will need to get into the plunge both feet first and fully immerse yourself in the water for at least 2 minutes if you want to utilize the health benefits, so don’t be scared.
Make it a regular habit. You will get the most out of taking cold plunges if you have them regularly, especially if you are new to the practice. Every day or every other day will help you to see the health benefits you are looking for.
It might be tempting to get into a hot shower after a cold plunge, but this will make you feel faint. Instead, dry and dress quickly from the top down and put on lots of layers. A hot drink and a sugary snack will help your body to warm up without making you feel ill.
Taking a cold plunge is a fantastic way to improve your health. Follow these tips to help you to make the most of the experience and encourage you to want to repeat the experience.