Loading ...

Taking the Plunge: Looking into the Trend of Cold Plunging

We’ve seen professional athletes do this for decades, but in recent years, we’ve seen more and more people online participating in cold plunges. It may leave you wondering: Is that something I want to try?

To start, what is a cold plunge? It’s exactly as it sounds: a quick soak in ice-cold water. It can also be known as an ice bath. A plunge is typically done in a bathtub or a container that can hold large amounts of water filled with ice, but it can also be done in bodies of water such as a river, lake, pond or ocean during the winter months. The key is cold water at 50F or less.

Most plunges last anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes, and some can last up to 10. If you are just starting out, only commit to a few minutes (or as long as you can handle) and work your way up. While a few minutes may feel like a long time, active participants say the more consistent you are, the easier it is to adjust to the colder temperature.

It is important to remember that all cold plunges are not the same. The location of your plunge will influence how long and how often you do it. Water in a lake, pond, river or ocean will be colder than plunges done in a controlled environment such as a bathtub, increasing your risk for hypothermia.

Are there benefits? Cold plunging can help ease sore muscles and reduce inflammation. The cold water slows down the body's blood flow, which in turn helps with swelling and inflammation. While this doesn’t help everyone, it can be beneficial after a long, intense workout. It is also a quick way to cool your body temperature down if needed.

 If you are interested in trying a cold plunge, there are potential risks and things to consider. If you suffer from medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, poor circulation, venous stasis or cold agglutinin disease, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for you to participate.

 Whether its where you plunge, for how long or how often, this activity depends on what works best for you. It is important to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.