When done safely, ice baths, or cold-water immersion, can be a great way can bring many benefits to fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes following a tough workout. They can help speed the healing of injuries and sore muscles, helping muscle tissue repair itself while eliminating lactic acid in the body, the primary culprit of soreness and fatigue.
The first research on ice baths was done more than 230 years, but long before that, even Plato and Hippocrates wrote about the benefits. Modern studies have found that cold-water immersion can result in:
●A stronger immune system
●Better overall well-being
●Fewer mood problems
●Less upper respiratory infections
●Improved endocrine functioning
●A faster metabolism
●Improved blood circulation
●Better sleep quality
You'll need a tub to do it, or ideally, buy an ice bath for sale, available on many online sites. Aim to take ice baths following a strenuous exercise session or competition to reap the benefits while following these measures to ensure safety.
If you're feeling anxious before getting into an ice bath, doing breathtaking exercises first can make a significant difference. Practice circular breathtaking first, which simply means slowly breathing through the nose and out the mouth without pausing on the inhale or exhale. Do this for about 30 repetitions and then relax and breathe normally so that your mind and body will be prepared for the icy water.
Don't Go Over the Top
If you try to push your body to do more than it can physically handle, an ice bath could lead to damage, doing more harm than good. Stick within the recommended range of 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit to reap the benefits without harm. When done right, it will help reduce that inflammation-causing swelling and pain while producing hormones like endorphins.
Don't Stay In Too Long
During an ice bath, most people won't feel enticed to stay in longer than necessary, but if you're of the mindset that more is better, it could cause harm. Aim for six to eight minutes to help speed muscle recovery while resetting the body and mind. Overexposure can do the opposite or even lead to hypothermia and shock.
Don't Go Nude and Get Your Post-Bath Clothing Ready
An ice bath isn't the type of bath that you do in the nude. You'll need to wear clothing to protect your skin. By wearing your workout clothes in the bath it will lessen the blow on the parts of your body that don't need the cold therapy. You might even wear a warm hat and gloves.
Get the clothes ready you plan to wear afterward so that you can easily access them. Right after getting out, you'll want to dry off and put your warm clothes on to bring your body temperature back up. You'll warm up even faster by drinking a hot beverage like tea.
Don't Immediately Take a Hot Shower
While there are benefits to contrast therapy, it's best to let your body temperature rise naturally and gradually. Sipping hot tea is fine, but don't jump into a hot shower right away. The immediate switch from icy cold to hot can pose a shock on the body.
Set Your Alarm
To ensure that you don't stay in an ice bath for too long (generally eight minutes but not more than 15), set the alarm on your phone.
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