I’m sure you’ve noticed recently, but there’s been a surge in popularity around ice baths/cold plunges and cold showers lately. It’s all the hype and I’m here to tell you that, yes, it’s worth it. As HARD as it is– trust me, I did it over the weekend at my best friend’s house in LA– you can definitely feel the benefits of it afterward. Obviously, a lot of us don’t have access to actual ice baths or cold tubs, which is why I had a great routine going on at home in Seattle of ice cold showers in the morning after my workout. Not only does cold plunging wake you up, it’s wonderful for exercise recovery and reducing pain, it helps with sleep, has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, and will undoubtedly improve your mood. It’s challenging to say the least. Try standing at the edge of a cold plunge tub or an ice cold lake and I guarantee there will be that little voice telling you not to do it… it took me a few minutes to step into the cold plunge for the first time. But the more you intentionally put yourself in uncomfortable situations, your body will be forced to adapt! Cold plunging also teaches you to be present and connect with your breath. If you’re curious about it or interested in trying, I rounded up some helpful resources below:
- Huberman Lab
- “Some people tolerate cold better than others. The key is to aim for a temperature that evokes the thought, “This is really cold (!), and I want to get out, BUT I can safely stay in.” For some people, that temperature might be 60°F, whereas for others, 45°F. Here is the key: the colder the stimulus (water immersion, shower, etc.), the shorter amount of time you need to expose yourself to the cold. One study showed significant and prolonged increases in dopamine when people were in cool (60°F) water for about an hour up to their neck, with their head above water. Other studies describe significant increases in epinephrine from just 20 seconds in very cold water (~40°F). The good news is that as you do deliberate cold exposure more often, you will be more comfortable in the cold at all times and can start to use colder temperatures with more confidence, just like exercise.” -Dr. Huberman, Read the article here.
- The Joe Rogan Experience x Wim Hof, nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold
- Ice Bath Science from Barbell Shrugged Podcast
- Benefits of Cold Plunge for Metabolism, Mood, and Recovery with Ryan Duey from the Wellness Mama Podcast
In my opinion, cold plunging is a great way to enhance your recovery and challenge your mental toughness. Next time I’m going to try and beat my time of 1 minute 10 seconds in 39 degree water! My tip for you is to start SLOW. Make sure to do your own research and gradually increase your time as you continue to cold plunge. Nonetheless, I’d love to hear about your experience, whether you’ve been doing it for a while or brand new. Comment below!
I started this week of adding a cold shower to my regular shower and the only way I can get through it is dancing to Bey’s Summer Renaissance. My goal is to make it through the song. It’s definitely not even as cold as it could be too. Just the start though. I’d love a cold plunge!