Athletes know that taking rest days and using resting tactics is just as essential to performance as a good workout plan. They also know the benefits of using an ice bath post-workout.
You can actively rest with gentle yoga or walking, passively rest by watching Netflix on the couch all day, or utilize one of many recovery methods like massage guns or foam rollers.
You can also snag an ice bath for sale to use at home, as this cold therapy has incredible benefits long after your workout is done.
Dunking your body into freezing water may not sound ideal, but once you know why it’s totally worth it to freeze for a little while, it may make the arctic blast easier to withstand.
It Eases Aches
One of the biggest benefits of using an ice bath is that it helps ease achy muscles. Pushing your body to the max during workouts may feel good at the moment, but any athlete knows with this territory comes muscle soreness.
Cold water immersion reduces this soreness by causing blood vessels to constrict. This reduces blood flow to certain areas, decreasing swelling.
In order to see the best results in quelling soreness, utilize ice baths consistently over time instead of sparingly or whenever you feel like it.
It Reduces Stress
Ice baths can help you chill out, in more than one way.
Cold water immersion, particularly in the area of the neck, stimulates the vagus nerve. This nerve is one of the longest in your body and runs all the way from your brain to your colon. It helps you experience certain senses and controls how certain muscles react that are vital to helping your heart, ears, throat, and digestive system work.
One such thing it affects is heart rate. Another of the benefits of using an ice bath is that it can help lower your heart rate and reduce stress. This stimulation also boosts the function of your central nervous system, which can help you sleep better and contribute to overall better athletic performance.
It Cools You Down
You most likely walk away from a workout covered in sweat and feeling overheated. Taking an ice bath cools you down quickly by immersing as much of your skin as possible in the cold, lessening any discomfort you may feel from your temp being too high.
It Supports Your Immune System
Yet another of the benefits of using an ice bath is that it helps support your immune system. A 2016 study shows that people who take cold showers are almost 30 percent less likely to call in sick for work or school.
Additionally, researchers have found that people were able to positively impact immune response through cold water immersion, deep breathing, and meditation.
Participants who used these techniques had fewer symptoms and produced a stronger anti-inflammatory response to bacterial infections.
It Boosts Your Mood
Much along the lines of stress reduction, using an ice bath can help elevate your mood.
Researchers have found cold water therapy to have an antidepressant effect. Your cold receptors send a jolt of electrical impulses to the brain’s nerve endings, thereby improving your mental state.
It Increases Circulation
Increased circulation is another of the benefits of an using an ice bath. When you submerge your body in cold water you force blood to rush to your vital organs. This causes your heart to work harder to push the blood through your vessels, boosting your circulatory system.