There's a reason ice bathing has been trending lately - it has an abundance of benefits. Athletes do cold immersions to soothe tired muscles from strenuous workouts. Many training rooms have had cold tubs and even cryotherapy chambers installed for their athletes.
The growing popularity has sparked the interest of many, and people are starting to do their own ice baths at home and you can too. If you're reading this, you're probably considering attempting your own ice bath at home but may not know where to start. We'll cover some considerations you should think about for your first ice bath at home and cover common questions you may have.
What is an Ice Bath?
Firstly, ice baths or cold-water immersion is when you plunge your body in a tub of cold water as a recovery and health regimen. Ice baths are becoming an increasingly popular ritual for athletes and exercise fanatics.
9 Benefits of Cold Immersion
What can an ice bath do for you? Here are just a handful of benefits:
- Soothes sore and aching muscles after a hard workout
- Helps improve your sleep
- Boosts your mood
- Reduces swelling and inflammation
- Cools your body down
- Helps with stress management
- Helps boost your immune system
- Potentially improves performance
- Can support weight loss
Considerations For Your First Ice Bath
As a first-timer, you can't just jump into a tub filled with ice and expect it to be as easy as jumping into a regular, cold bath. Here are some things you need to consider for your first cold plunging experience.
- Make sure you prepare the clothes you're going to change into after the bath and put them in a convenient place.
- It's okay to start with just a few minutes. Even 2-5 minutes are okay. You can set an alarm clock.
- Go easy on the water temperature and stay in your "cold tolerance" temperature. Instead of jumping into 39°F water right away, it's okay to start around 60 degrees.
- Get out of the ice bath slowly and do some light movement like jumping jacks or bodyweight squats to help regulate your temperature.
How Do I Prepare For an Ice Bath?
Cold plunging is a unique and challenging feat. Before you step into the bath, prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Getting used to cold showers first can help you understand the primary psychological responses you will experience. When your body is already tuned in to the cold water, you'll get better at managing your reactions.
Here are some ideas for getting ready for that first cold plunging:
Start deep breathing techniques. Alternate breathing with each nostril for 1-2 minutes each to help you relax. Do powerful inhales and exhales through your nose for 1-3 minutes. When you are ready, hold your breath on exhale to reduce the shock, and step into the tub.
What Tools/Products Do I Need For an Ice Bath?
For making an ice bath at home, you need a tub, ice, and a thermometer. You can use your regular bathtub if you want.
However, if you want to take that ice bath outdoors or in another part of the house, consider a Plunge tub. Loved by beginners and cold plunge enthusiasts, it's designed to give users ease of setting up and filling up. Instead of buying 10 lbs of ice and filling/draining a tub or trough each time you want to do an ice bath, the Plunge is ready to go at anytime.
What is the Right Temperature For an Ice Bath?
The recommended temperature for an ice bath is from 39-60 degrees Fahrenheit - a temperature cold enough to chill your body but not to the freezing point. If you need to start in the upper 50's or 60 to get adjusted, feel free to do that. It's probably a good idea even if you think you can handle colder.
Don't forget to check the tub's temperature before jumping in. If you're using a Cold Plunge Tub, just set it to your desired temperature and wait a few minutes.
How Long Do I Stay In an Ice Bath?
A recommended ice bath should not exceed 10 minutes. You can start for a few minutes and work your tolerance toward the 10-minute mark. If you start shivering excessively or notice your skin changing color, get out of the ice bath.
How Do I Set Up an Ice Bath?
Anyone can make an ice bath at home. You need a large tub, lots of ice, and a thermometer. You can use your regular bathtub or go for a bigger one like a 100-gallon tub.
Fill the tub with water up to your thighs, then drop a pound of ice. Gradually add more ice, increasing the ice level as you build your tolerance.
How Do I Get the Most Out of My Ice Bath Experience?
Dip your whole body in the tub to get the most out of your ice bath experience. It will expose your body, thyroid, and the back of your neck to the cold water.
Cold plunging will regulate your body temperature and elicit a maximum hormonal response.
Any Last Tips For First Time Ice Bathing?
Consult your doctor before taking your first ice bath at home especially if you are sensitive to colds or have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Ready to Take Your Ice Bath to the Next Level?
Cold immersion is an enjoyable practice with plenty of health benefits. However, you do have to prepare your tub every time, fill it with water, and drain it afterward. It can be a time-consuming (and expensive) effort if you want to make it a consistent habit.
The Cold Plunge Tub offers users convenience and saves time using its plug and plunge technology - perfect for beginners or regulars. Just fill your Cold Plunge Tub up with water from a hose, turn it on, set the temperature, and enjoy your ice bath.