Beyond the Trend: Why You Should be Incorporating Cold Plunge Into Your Routine

Cold Plunge

Deliberate cold exposure has been around for centuries and may date back to ancient Rome. While cold plunges were previously more exclusive to athletes, SweatHouz now provides 6000+ cold plunges a month to people and communities across the US. Once members experience the physical and mental benefits of the cold plunge, they’re coming back for more!
The cold plunges at SweatHouz sit at 45-49*F – a stimulus that’s uncomfortably cold but safe for the everyday person. When you enter into your private cold plunge suite, dress down to your comfort level and immerse yourself into the cold water.
Many experts recommend aiming for a total of 2-4 sessions, or ~11 minutes of total cold exposure each week. After your plunge, allow your body to warm up naturally for 3-5 minutes, before using your en-suite Vitamin-C shower.

Potential Benefits

The cold water stimulus causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, impacting your blood flow and blood pressure, and triggering the release of neurotransmitters, like epinephrine and norepinephrine. There’s more to cold plunging than just post-workout recovery. A few additional evidence-backed cold plunge benefits include an endorphin boost that lasts for hours post-plunge, decreased inflammation, and medication-free pain management:

Exposure to the cold water also triggers a prolonged release of dopamine – which can elevate your mood, help you focus, and make you more alert and ready to tackle the day ahead. For this reason, many of our members love cold plunging before big work meetings, presentations, or interviews!
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cold plunging, adding cold plunge to your wellness routine can be an effective way to manage pain and soreness from both tough workouts and the stresses of everyday life.
Keeping your core body temperature warm in cold water requires energy, so you can expect a short-term increase in caloric expenditure during and after your plunge. Research suggests that there may be long-term implications to improving body composition too, like changing the amount of brown adipose tissue, which helps regulate your body in cold conditions.

What about Cold Plunging After Workouts?

Many of our SweatHouz members use the cold plunge to improve recovery time and reduce feelings of soreness after a tough workout. Studies suggest that cold plunging can be a helpful part of your well-rounded recovery routine, which should also include prioritizing sleep, hydration, and fueling yourself well. And, timing may matter when it comes to resistance training.
Cold plunging after a workout has been shown to decrease feelings of muscle soreness and related biomarkers. One meta-analysis published in 2022, a study of studies, found that cold water immersion was an effective recovery tool after high-intensity exercise, decreasing muscle soreness, creatine kinase presence, and perceived recovery for up to 24 hours after exercise.
Another 2023 meta-analysis suggests that cold water immersion is better than a control condition for the management of muscle soreness after workouts. Authors also reported that water temperature and did not heavily influence this result, meaning that sticking with a temperature around 50*F seemed to work just as well as markedly colder temperatures in these studies.

A Relative to resistance training workouts, evidence suggests that cold plunging would best fit after the anabolic window – so ~4-6 hours post-workout, or even the next day – so as not to disrupt with hypertrophy-related adaptations.

How Can I Safely Add Cold Plunge to my Routine?

As always, you should direct any individualized health questions about your wellness routine to your healthcare provider. Pregnant women and those with known cardiac or pulmonary conditions should stay away from cold plunges, and those with Type 2 Diabetes should proceed with caution.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cold plunging, adding cold plunge to your wellness routine can be an effective way to manage pain and soreness from both tough workouts and the stresses of everyday life.
Have you heard of box breathing? Box breathing is a technique that allows you to focus mental energy on your breathing – you inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, and repeat. Just 2 cycles of box breathing, and you’ve already been in the cold plunge for 30+ seconds!

The hype is real: Cold plunging is linked to real health benefits for your mind and body. Check out our growing footprint to book your first plunge at a SweatHouz location near you today.

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