Home Tech Two months of trying plunge pools and I think I’m addicted

Two months of trying plunge pools and I think I’m addicted

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Two months of trying plunge pools and I think I'm addicted

I feel like it reduces swelling. After an ice bath, my body tingles and I feel less bloated, like I have reduced inflammation. It’s great for when I wake up feeling a little groggy.

I make better decisions. While I haven’t lost weight by ice bathing and haven’t noticed an improvement in my sleep, I am more aware of my overall health and well-being and have been making healthier choices.

How to start

While social media loves to highlight the positives, cold water therapy, ice baths, scuba diving, and open water swimming should be approached with caution. He American Heart Association has warned that shocking the body with cold water could do more harm than good, while the British Heart Foundation He recommends that people with heart disease consult a doctor before immersing themselves in icy waters. Be sure to consult your doctor before embarking on any type of cold water therapy, especially if you have a heart condition. Children under 18 should also avoid ice baths.

Once you are deemed fit enough, trying cold water therapy at home can be very affordable and easy, especially if you have already taken a bath. Simply fill your existing tub, add ice, and you’re ready to go. Why bother with an expensive deep pool? It’s a matter of convenience, as a dedicated ice bath will be ready when you are. If I had to think about taking a cold bath before exercising, I would never do it. Removing barriers is essential, especially if you are doing something uncomfortable.

While you can buy a portable ice bath for less than $100, you tend to get what you pay for. I’ve seen people use large plastic barrels, which work well to a point, but lack easy drainage, aren’t particularly stable, and don’t contribute anything to your garden design. Inexpensive inflatable options can be stored, which is a plus, but they can also be susceptible to punctures and difficult to keep clean.

Cold plunge pools, like the ones tested here, come in various shapes and sizes and are made of materials designed to feel comfortable against the skin. Some have water inlets and outlets for easy filling and emptying and covers to keep the water cleaner and free of insects and wildlife when not in use.

If you really want to take a cold plunge, there are premium designs available with electric coolers (and heaters), plus filtration systems to keep the water usable longer. hydragun, Immersionand Edge Theory Labs all sell designs for around $5,000, while brass monkey It has a model that even makes its own ice.

Cold Pool FAQ

How cold should I make my ice bath?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as some people can naturally tolerate the cold more than others. “Social media is full of people hacking frozen lakes with saws, and it’s important not to let ego get in the way and make sure you use it safely and effectively,” says Laura Fullerton, CEO of Monk. “The more you deliberately expose yourself to the cold, the more confident and comfortable you will feel in colder temperatures. However, there is no need to strive to get as cold as possible as quickly as possible; Studies show that a lot of benefits can still be gained from higher temperatures, around 15°C (59°F). “Often people go down to 1-3°C (33.8–37.4°F), but I personally like to go down to around 6°C (42.8°F).”

How should I breathe in an ice bath?

“We often see ice baths associated with rapid, hyperventilation-style breathing work in the upper chest, but this creates additional stress on the nervous system,” says Jamie Clements of The space to breathe. “It increases your heart rate and risks overwhelming you, which can lead to hyperventilation. The ice bath typically creates an anticipated increase in heart rate, so why add fuel to the fire?

When entering the plunge pool, it is important to do so slowly and steadily. Jamie suggests trying the following technique: Pre-ice: Two to five minutes of slow nasal breathing, with an emphasis on extending the exhale. Upon entering: Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth as you enter. During the dive: Inhale as slowly as possible through your nose and exhale through your mouth. If you can find comfort and stillness with that breath, breathe slowly through your nose.

What should I do immediately after an ice bath?

“It’s great to let your body warm up naturally, whether it’s with light movement or a hot drink,” says Fullerton. “I would avoid using hot showers or saunas to warm up; This is because your metabolism speeds up and does the hard work to warm you up naturally. Let your body warm itself, and if you use the ice bath with sauna as contrast therapy, always finish with cold water for the most benefits.”

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