There was a time when a cold plunge bath was used to punish insane people. While studies suggest the tradition of cold plunging originated in ancient Rome, its health benefits and risks are worth considering.
Moreover, it’s now a practice common among celebrities and social media influencers for treating depression, losing weight, and boosting immunity. With over 500 million views on TikTok, the viral #coldplunge trend shows people submerging themselves in icy water.
What Is A Cold Water Plunge
A cold plunge occurs when someone immerses their body in cold water at 59 degrees Fahrenheit or less for an extended period.
It helps to improve the health of the body and mind. Several methods of a cold plunge include jumping into the ocean, having an ice bath, a cold shower, or a professional circulating cold tub (available in luxury spas, fitness centers, and recovery centers). While the benefits vary based on the plunge style adopted—all exposure is beneficial to some extent.
Benefits Of Cold Water Plunge
The following are the benefits of considering a cold water plunge:
1. Boost of Energy
We all have our technique for waking up: double shots of espresso, a quick workout, etc. If you want an energizing morning or an afternoon boost, cold plunging might come in handy. Most resort to cold plunging when seeking a new way to enhance their daily energy!
2. Active Recovery For Performance
Cold plunge helps the mental and chemical aspects of your body. Moreover, Sports medicine has adopted cold water therapy for years for the active recovery of the muscles.
3. Improves The Immune System
Submerging yourself in cold water stimulates leukocytes, the white blood cells that combat illnesses. Furthermore, it contracts the lymphatic system, enabling fluid through the lymph nodes to detox the body and boost your immune system. Research has shown to reduce upper respiratory tract infections significantly.
4. It Relieves Pain
Studies show a 5x boost in norepinephrine obtained from regular ice baths. This neurotransmitter can significantly lessen inflammation and relieve chronic pain.
5. It Reduces Stress
Cold water therapy is an effective supplemental treatment for stress relief by reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Research shows that consistent cold showers and ice baths helped lessen anxiety and boost the mood of participants.
6. It Improves Sleep
During cold plunging, your body stimulates the autonomic nervous system, a network of vessels and nerves divided into two components that control your stress response. When you start managing your stress response, you’ll realize you can control your relaxation and sleep.
Risks Of Cold Water Plunge
There are also risks associated with cold plunging, and they include the following:
- Cold Shock: Sudden cold water immersion in temperatures lower than 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit can make the body experience a “shock,” resulting in involuntary gaspings, rapid breathing, heart rates, blood pressure spikes, and impaired cognitive function, like clouded thinking and decision-making.
- Physical Incapacitation: People can also experience loss of muscular control, worsening the longer they immerse in cold water and potentially resulting in drowning. They will feel weak or exhausted and cannot control their fingers, hands, arms, or legs.
- Hypothermia: After one to three minutes of immersion in water with temperatures under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, body temperature starts declining, increasing the risk of hypothermia, which can occur at a core body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although a cold plunge, which involves submerging your body in cold water (59 degrees Fahrenheit or less) for an extended period, has its benefits, such as elevated energy, boosted muscle recovery, immune support, etc., one shouldn’t disregard its risks such as cold shock, drowning, and hypothermia. Therefore, one should be cautious when practicing it.
Business8 years ago
Winston-Salem’s Stu Epperson Expands Right Wing Media Machine
Columns7 years ago
Captured & Tortured by ISIS- On the Ground in a War Zone
Colleges & Univ7 years ago
Celebrating our Neighbors: Awards, Recognition and New Leadership
Business7 years ago
Looking for a job? Check out these local job fairs
Columns7 years ago
Thorezine- Twitter is the Devil
Arts & Entertainment7 years ago
Celebrate Historic Preservation Month with events around the county
Community7 years ago
The Winston-Salem Foundation Announces May Community Grants
Education8 years ago
Forsyth Tech Students Make Like MacGyver