While it may sound like the newest trend sweeping social media, cold water therapy has actually been around for a long time — hundreds if not thousands of years. Its resurgence in popularity has led people to rediscover the benefits cold water therapy can have on your health, wellness, and lifestyle.
What Is Cold Water Therapy?
Cold water therapy is a method in which the body is submerged in an ice bath or plunge pool. The purpose is to aid in muscle recovery after a strenuous workout. Many athletes use cold water therapy as a means to reduce muscle soreness, but there are other benefits as well, including:
- Reduced inflammation and improved joint function
- Boosted immune system
- Increased blood circulation and improved flow
- Energy boost
- Boosted metabolism
- Improved mental clarity
- Better skin
How Does Cold Water Therapy Work?
Cold water therapy works by shocking your system in multiple ways.
When our bodies come into contact with cold, our leukocytes (a type of white blood cell found in your bone marrow) become stimulated. Leukocytes are produced by your lymphatic system, whose purpose is to carry white blood cells that fight off diseases and foreign substances that may harm your body. The more stimulated your lymphatic system is, the more they work to protect your body from illness.
The chilly temperature also wakes your mind and body up, triggering the release of hormones like adrenaline that get your heart pumping.
The cold also reduces swelling in your muscles caused by tears from working out, which in turn reduces inflammation.
The History of Cold Water Therapy
Cold water therapy has been used for centuries as a way to promote healing and wellness. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all recognized the benefits of cold water therapy and incorporated it into their daily routines. In the 19th century, the use of cold water therapy became more widespread with the establishment of hydrotherapy clinics throughout Europe and North America.
Today, cold water therapy is still used by many people as a natural way to reduce inflammation, boost circulation, and improve overall health and well-being. From ice baths to cold showers, there are many different ways to incorporate this ancient practice into your daily routine.
How to Effectively Use Cold Water Therapy to Your Benefit
To best benefit from cold water therapy, here are some ways you could incorporate it into your routine and lifestyle.
Take an Ice Bath After a Workout
One of the most common ways to use cold water therapy, as stated above, is to take an ice bath after you exercise. Not only does it help cool you off, but your muscles will be less sore after. That means you can hit the gym again sooner rather than later!
After a Sauna Session
Another popular way to utilize cold water therapy is with sauna use. Traditionally, people would run out into the snow or take a quick dip in a frozen lake after sitting in a sauna. But not everyone with a sauna has a frozen lake handy in their backyard. If that’s the case for you, get a plunge pool and set it up near your sauna!
After a Hot Tub Soak
To further help with bodily aches and pains, you may even try pairing your cold water therapy with some warm hydrotherapy from a hot tub. Sometimes the combination of hot and cold is the winning ticket. Taking an ice bath after a hot tub soak could lead to other health benefits like better quality sleep.
On a Hot Day
Need to cool off on a hot day? Just hop into your plunge pool! Cold water therapy paired with good hydration could keep you from overheating.
Wellis New England Is Your Plunge Pool Specialist
No matter how you choose to approach this method, cold water therapy is sure to benefit your health, wellness, and lifestyle in more ways than one. If you’d like to start incorporating cold water therapy into your routine, stop by Wellis New England in Brookfield, CT, to view our selection of King Kool Plunge cold tubs. We’re happy to find the right fit for you and your home and answer any questions you may have.