Cold therapy and ice baths are a popular new trend in health and wellness, with many people using them to improve their performance, manage pain, and even boost their immune systems. People use both ice baths and cold plunges to reach the same goal: lowering their core body temperature to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery time. But do they really help you?
Ice baths and cold plunges can help reduce muscle soreness
Cold plunges and ice baths can help reduce muscle soreness. This is because they’re a form of cryotherapy, which can lower inflammation and improve circulation. When the body experiences physical activity, it creates small tears in the muscles that are repaired by blood vessels during rest periods. Heat makes these scars stiffer and less flexible, so cold therapy helps loosen them up for quicker healing.
Cold plunging also helps improve your overall athletic performance by increasing blood flow to muscles that have been warmed up before exercise. Some studies have shown that regular use of cold plunges can decrease recovery time between workouts as well as increase strength gains after resistance training sessions—which means faster progress toward your fitness goals!
Cold therapy can help with recovery and performance
Cold therapy is a great way to help your body recover from exercise, and it can be used to enhance performance as well.
When you exercise, your body generates heat that must be dissipated through sweating or blood flow. As you continue to perform at high intensity levels or in hot conditions, this process becomes increasingly difficult for your body and begins to compromise its ability to function properly. By using cold therapy after intense exercise, you can accelerate the rate at which your body recovers by reducing inflammation and swelling and increasing blood flow back into muscles. The result is faster recovery times between workouts so that you can get back into the gym or on the field faster than ever before!
Cold water immersion can help with stress relief and accelerate healing
Ice baths and cold plunges can be an effective way to reduce stress and promote healing. A study published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that immersing the body in cold water after exercise can help with muscle soreness and inflammation, while another study found that people who take ice baths have lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) than those who don’t.
While you might think the idea of submerging yourself into near-freezing water sounds like torture, it actually helps your body out in some pretty important ways:
- by increasing blood flow and reducing pain signals from nerves that are triggered by cold temperatures.
- by stimulating receptors in our skin that make us feel happier because they release endorphins.
- by slowing down the production of stress hormones like cortisol; and even by decreasing anxiety!
Cold therapy can be good for cardiovascular health
Cold therapy can help with blood pressure. One study showed that cold water immersion significantly lowered blood pressure in athletes. This is likely due to the vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels) triggered by cold temperatures, which allows for more oxygenated blood to flow through the body.
Cold therapy may help with heart rate variability. HRV refers to fluctuations in your heart rate—it’s basically how much your heart beats when it isn’t beating at its normal rate or rhythm. Studies have shown that cold therapy improves HRV in certain cardiovascular conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and atherosclerosis.
Ice baths and cold plunging could improve athletic performance
There are many benefits of ice baths and cold plunging. The most obvious is the potential for improved athletic performance. Both ice baths and cold plunging can help with recovery, which is essential to high-intensity workouts. In addition, they’re a great way to relieve stress after an intense workout or competition.
So, if you’re looking for a new way to take care of your body and mind, then ice baths and cold plunges might be the answer. They’re an easy way to get some benefits without having to spend too much time or money on any other kind of treatment.