Is a plunge pool a healthy choice?
A frequently asked question is whether an immersion or ice bath is really healthy for you, and it is. By incorporating cold water therapy into your daily routine, you can experience many physical and mental benefits.
Feel physically and mentally refreshed
Taking a plunge or ice bath creates a powerful and clarifying feeling. When you come in contact with the cold water, a shock reaction occurs that causes a kind of reset in your body. This releases endorphins and adrenaline which creates a happy feeling, releases your tension and gives your energy a huge boost. Eventually, this results in improving your mood and also relieves depression. Cold water therapy makes you feel refreshed both physically and mentally.
Boost your immune system
Cold temperatures can give your immune system a strong boost. This is because the cold helps produce white blood cells that ultimately help boost your immunity. A study by the AMC found that taking an ice bath, plunge bath or cold shower daily leads to a 30% drop in illness. The requirements for this are that the water be less than 20 degrees and that you spend at least 30 seconds in a bath or shower.
Cold shower or cold plunge after a busy day
If you’ve had a stressful day, this is the perfect way to let go of everything. The cold shock completely relaxes your body. The sudden cold actually makes you hyperventilate. When you experience a lot of stress, this is a very good way to be able to get your breathing under control.
After a few days of cold showering or dipping into an ice bath, combined with proper breathing techniques, you will be able to control your breathing more quickly, allowing your body to apply this to stressful moments faster, resulting in the decrease of your stress level.
Improvement of blood circulation
Taking an ice bath temporarily constricts the blood vessels. This creates more elasticity in the blood vessels, which eventually allows your blood to be pumped around better. As more blood is pumped around in your body, it provides more oxygen to your muscles.
After your blood vessels constrict and reduce blood flow during an ice bath, the restorative effect begins. Because your blood vessels were constricted, your body’s natural response is to push blood back to the body parts as quickly as possible. This natural response of your body promotes the repair of muscles damaged during a workout.
By using cold water therapy in a plunge pool or ice bath you become more resistant to the cold. Your body gets used to heating itself with its own energy. This is because cold activates brown fat, which uses energy to get and keep your body warm. This energy is obtained in the form of calories. The more often you exercise the body through cold water therapy, the more the brown fat is activated in your body, which ultimately allows calories to be burned faster. When the brown fat is not used regularly, the body is less likely to be able to heat itself and you will feel cold more quickly.