There are several methods of doing cold water immersion: cold plunge pools, cold showers, ice baths, routine cold water swimming, and so on. The purpose of doing cold water therapy remains the same no matter the method used: to experience cold plunge benefits for your health.
If you haven’t tried cold therapy yet, then these cold plunge benefits might convince you to give it a shot.
Reduce Muscle Soreness
The popularity of cold water immersion spiked because many prominent athletes were seen doing this as part of their recovery process post-workout or training. It is believed that soaking in cold water for short periods following your exercise or training can reduce the possibility of muscle soreness.
In 2011, there was a study conducted on a group of cyclists who performed intense training sessions. They used cold plunge as part of the post-recovery process and it helped decrease muscle soreness among these athletes.
In another study 5 years later, 20 participants performed the exact same training and also used cold water therapy. They also reported less muscle soreness.
The reason behind the prevention of muscle soreness is the fact that cold water causes the blood vessels to constrict. And in doing so, it reduces the amount of blood flow to your muscles. This reduced blood flow can also fight inflammation and swelling.
Boosts Lymphatic Circulation
Speaking of cold therapy having an impact on your blood flow, the ability to improve your lymphatic circulation is another one of the top cold plunge benefits that you can get. The lymphatic system is made up of a network of blood vessels that are connected throughout your body. It is responsible for cleaning out the waste in your body and is beneficial in natural cleansing.
The lymph fluid is not the same as your circulatory system that has the heart responsible for pumping blood throughout your body. There is no central pump that distributes the lymphatic fluid all over your body. The lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction in order to distribute lymphatic fluid throughout your vessels. Without exercise or other physical activity, the lymphatic system is inefficient. When the lymphatic fluid becomes stagnant, toxins build up and you will experience various illnesses such as cold, infection, and joint pain, among other things.
Cold plunging promotes contraction of your lymph vessels. This forces the lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout the body. It also helps to flush out the toxins from your system. This is why it is important to embrace cold water immersion, especially since the lymphatic system is closely linked to your body’s immune system.
Promote Healthy Blood Circulation
Another crucial benefit of cold plunging is its ability to boost your blood circulation. Your blood flow is a crucial component of maintaining overall health and well-being. With poor cardiovascular circulation, it can compromise the flow of blood and cause stress to the heart. It can result in a wide range of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
It is important to improve heart health to boost circulation, too. This can have additional health benefits including increased mental acuity, higher metabolism, more strength and energy, and increased immunity. Exercise and diet are two factors that are closely linked in helping boost cardiovascular circulation. But taking cold showers can also help to stimulate your blood circulation.
As soon as your body comes into contact with the cold water, it causes the blood to rush to your organs. This will prompt your heart to pump more in order to push blood into your vessels and to make sure there is adequate supply of oxygen throughout your body. When you do this regularly, it will maintain a healthy blood circulation and also ensure proper distribution of nutrients throughout your body.
Immune System Boost
Did you know that cold plunging can help you fight off common illnesses? Yes it does – and it’s all because of the fact that it can improve your body’s natural immunity and support?
There are a lot of research studies that have been done in order to support the benefits of cold plunging in terms of improving your immune system. The human body is naturally designed to fight off any elements that it considers is a threat to its well-being. A good example of this is leukocytes that help your body fight infections. Specifically, cold water immersion can increase your white blood cell count by forcing it to adapt to the changing conditions.
The more you do cold therapy, the more you can unlock your body’s natural healing powers and defense against various health threats. It is essential to your overall health because it makes your body better able to fight off common causes of diseases such as cold and flu.
There is one study that provides evidence to how taking cold showers can enable the body to fight certain types of cancer. Meanwhile, a clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands show how people who prefer to take cold showers take less sick leaves from work.
If you are an athlete or someone who is into fitness, then you have another reason to do cold plunging: its benefits include the ability to fight inflammation. It’s not uncommon for fitness enthusiasts to wake up feeling sore the next morning. In most cases, it’s hard to move your body because your muscles are throbbing in pain. This physical discomfort is caused by delayed onset muscle soreness and many turn to anti-inflammatory meds to ease the pain.
But you can’t let inflammation and muscle soreness from limiting your fitness or athletic performance. When you shower or soak in cold water, you can counteract the effects of an intense workout on your muscles. It works by lowering the temperature on the damaged tissues and constricting the blood vessels. This helps to reduce swelling and inflammation while also numbing the nerve endings to reduce pain. This brings you immediate relief after an intense workout.
Even when you are not a professional athlete, engaging in this workout recovery routine can help to eliminate any damage to your muscles so that you can get back to training sooner.
Whether you are suffering from pain due to injury or that you’ve exhausted your muscles from the physical workout, then it’s important to find immediate relief from that pain to aid full recovery. A cold plunge is one of the best ways to not only manage the pain but also make it go away.
Doctors and fitness experts have recommended the RICE method to alleviate pain and swelling. The RICE method stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The second method – Icing – is in line with the benefits of cold water immersion. It involves putting ice or a cold compress to the site of the injury.
The reason behind this is that exposing the injury to extremely low temperature can reduce pain and swelling. The cold water can constrict the blood vessels in the area and numbs nerve endings, which is why you get instant relief from pain. In addition, it sends a signal to your brain that is linked to your pain receptors.
Faster Cool Down
If you are extremely overheated or your body is pushed to its limits during your training or athletic performance, then you need to aid your body in the cool down process. It is important to expose the body to extremely low temperature in order to regulate it; otherwise, your body could overheat and that could be dangerous.
When trying to use an ice bath for a faster cool down, make sure to soak as much of your skin as possible. This will help your entire body to recover faster instead of just resting in a cool environment.
On the flip side, there is also another advantage to doing cold plunge in the form of learning how to control your own heat. Cold thermogenesis is the process of creating heat when the body is exposed to cold temperature. By mastering your body’s ability to generate its own heat, you can take full advantage of the calorie-burning benefits of cold plunging.
Proper discipline and focus is needed in order to boost your athletic performance. This is one of the benefits that you can get from doing a cold plunge or soaking in an ice bath: increased mental focus and discipline.
Not everyone has the mental strength to expose their body to extreme conditions that will be uncomfortable and even painful at first. But by conquering that fear and pushing past your body’s physical limits, it boosts the strength of your mental fortitude. You achieve a laser-like focus and stay discipline on your goal. You realize the reason why you did this and why you subject your body to a situation like this.
It is a great practice for the mind that will later on benefit your performance, not just physically but also mentally. But aside from that, you can also develop higher resilience when you are able to practice cold plunge on a frequent basis. If you are able to survive the discomfort of your body, it will make it easier to fight through any physical or mental pain.
Having lots of energy is important, especially for fitness enthusiasts and performance athletes. It is very common for athletes to try this type of therapy because it enables them to reduce the time it takes to recover before they can get back out and perform again.
When you are exposed to extremely cold temperature, it jolts your system.. It elevates your energy to a whole new level so you can give it your best performance in what you do. At the same time, it also improves your alertness and clarity.
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? It’s no secret that a good quality sleep (of at least 8 hours per night) is important to help you function your best during the day. If you’re an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, sleep is very important to allow your body to rest and recover. If you don’t get proper sleep, then your performance could suffer.
You might have heard that taking cold showers can help you get better sleep at night. It keeps your body relaxed while also reducing anxiety and easing tensed muscles. When you take a cold shower, you can also help to slow down your body’s heart rate until it enters a sleep state. This will make it easier for you to doze off once you get into bed at night.
In the list of the cold plunge benefits, this is one of those that are widely talked about. There are many who claim that exposing the body to extremely low temperature can boost its calorie-burning capabilities.
There are some studies to back up this claim. In particular, these studies demonstrate how being in a cool environment can increase your metabolic rate (or your body’s ability to burn calories and use energy).
The logic behind these theories is that when you shower with cold water (or soak in it), your body is forced to work more (burn more calories) in order to keep it warm. It is definitely not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise if you want to lose weight and keep it off. But it sure is a good benefit that you can get if you do cold water therapy.
When all else fails, one of the best cold plunge benefits that you can get is that feeling of happiness. It’s not just a matter of mindset; it is backed by science.
Cold water immersion has plenty of health benefits but none more important than the release of a naturally occurring chemical in the body known as norepinephrine. This can work as a stress hormone and neurotransmitter. This chemical regulates your mood, anxiety, and other basic functions. It also mobilizes the brain while increasing attentiveness and energy. This is a chemical responsible for treating various disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and various anxiety disorders.
If you are feeling a bit down, you can try taking a cold plunge. This will give you an instant mood lift. We’re saving it for last because we believe this is the ultimate goal for doing a cold plunge and extracting the health benefits it can offer. Your attitude and being happy is the first secret to staying healthy!