Great news!! The Cold Plunge, our newest amenity and recovery tool is on its way to RF! Here is some basic information about the Plunge:
Cold Plunge Tips & Fundamentals:
- The goal for the Plunge is to create a relationship with cold. You want to take 2-5 minutes per day and use it to focus on yourself and take your mind off everything else.
- It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon!!! Starting your first plunge anywhere below 60 degrees will be a benefit to you. There’s no need to dive right into 40-degree water right away. Acclimating your body slowly is key!
- Consistent efforts and daily habits are very important!
- Breath is your greatest asset in your journey. When your body enters the Cold Plunge, your natural reaction will be to have some short shallow breaths which could result in about 18-25 breaths per minute. Controlling your breathing is key and trying to reach for about 5-8 big deep breaths per minute. Inhaling through your nose will help immensely in breathing technique.
- The Cold Plunge is a workout for your nervous system. Your body will go into fight or flight mode when hitting the cold water, and with practice and consistency, it will become easier!
- The Cold Plunge has shown to get benefits of upleveling metabolism, increase immunity, better recovery workout, and learning how to become adaptable in all environments.
Top 5 Mistakes made with the Cold Plunge:
- Starting too cold: If you are not accustomed to the cold, we suggest starting anywhere from 50-60 degrees. Along with any other training that you do, your goal is to progress as you can. The rule of thumb is if you can stay in the cold for 2 minutes, then you can lower the temperature of the water by 1 degree per week. If you can’t stay in for the full 2 minutes, raise the temperature back up. There are still numerous anti-inflammatory benefits that can be obtained in up to 60-degree water!
- Going too Long: The goal of the plunge is not to stay in as long as you can, because once you exceed 5 minutes in the tub, the benefits can start to diminish and could do more harm than good for your body. Being in cold water puts stress on your body, so we want to be able to control that stress, and when you are in there longer than 5 minutes, your body will be under too much stress.
- Lack of Consistency: Just like training, consistency is where you are going to see results. Try and get yourself into a routine and challenge yourself to see how many days you can cold plunge in a row. Plunging 2x/week for 5 mins isn’t nearly as effective as plunging 5x/week for 2 mins. Everyone has 2 minutes to fit some plunging in!
- Breathing too fast: Being able to control your breathing at a parasympathetic rate (5-8 breaths per minute) is very important. It’s very challenging in the first few moments as your body tries to adjust to the cold but keeping it under control is key. Using your breathing to your benefit gives you a more enjoyable and easier experience in the plunge.
- Staying too shallow: When entering the plunge, you want to get as much of your body in the plunge as possible. You want to slide all the way in up to your neck, so your vagus nerve is submerged. By doing this, it helps trigger the body’s cold shock response to release norepinephrine (powerful anti-inflammatory and mood booster). The hands are hard to submerge, so it’s suggested to cycle them in and out of the water as needed if you’re unable to keep them in the whole time.
When to Cold Plunge:
To aid recovery, the best time to Cold Plunge is right after you exercise. It only takes 2-5mins, so it’s best that you try and hop in right after finishing a workout. This will help in reducing muscle soreness, increasing blood flow, and immune system support.
How does the Cold Plunge help recovery?
As the body enters cold water, your blood vessels will constrict, and your blood will travel to vital organs to protect them and travel away from our extremities. With that, the body brings more nutrient-dense blood towards the vital organs. Once you get out of the Cold Plunge is where the magic happens. As the body warms back up, your blood vessels will slowly open again and the blood flow will increase and flow back to the extremities. This has been shown to improve circulation and give the body more oxygenated blood.
Hot & Cold Benefits (Sauna and Cold Plunge Combo):
The benefits alone from the Cold Plunge or Sauna are substantial when it comes to recovery, immune system function, and muscle soreness, but being able to combine them together gives you that “wow” factor. According to North America Sauna Society, the transition from a hot sauna into cold temperatures increases your heart rate, increases blood flow, and also shoots adrenaline and endorphins through your body. The result is an amazing feeling in your body and your mind are focused on how to adapt and respond accordingly. Combining hot and cold therapy doesn’t need to take up much of your day. You can stay in the sauna for as little as 15 minutes or whatever you’re comfortable with, and you go into the cold plunge for 2-5 minutes. You want to progress slowly and acclimate your body appropriately!
More questions?! Shoot me an email at email@example.com
STAY TUNED FOR MEMBER ACCESS SOON (along with my first Cold Plunge Experience)!