Why are ice baths becoming so popular?
Ice Bathing: interchangeably referred to as Cold Water Immersion or Cold Exposure Therapy has become a huge trend over the past few years, heavily popularised by the teachings & wisdom of the likes of Wim Hof, Gabby Reece & Laird Hamilton, however the practise has been around for generations.
For decades, athletes of all disciplines have used cold water exposure to assist with reducing soreness & body inflammation to support recovery & further enhance sporting performance.
Recently however, the practise has begun to capture the attention of people from virtually every walk of life from corporate highflyers, to the completely sedentary & inactive to the chronically sick & energy deprived… So why is that?
With the help of the WH (Wim Hof) movement, science & studies over the past several years as well as all the social proof we are seeing; the benefits of Ice Baths are far wider reaching than initially thought. Now, not only does cold exposure support & assist athletic endeavours, but we are seeing wholistic benefits encapsulating:
- Mood and mental health.
- Improvements in sleep
- Energy enhancement
- Stress tolerance
- Discipline and resilience building
Many people are using this practise as a means of relaxation & meditation to better connect with themselves through the struggle & inner silence that cold exposure brings.
We created our Ice Tubs with appearance & function in mind. A unique, oblong design that is large enough for complete immersion. Lightweight for easy portability & a hardy galvanised steel construction allowing for outdoor permanence enables you to now experience the multitude of benefits that ice bathing provides from the privacy & comfort of your own home.
Reap the benefits of ice baths using our ice tubs
Regular ice baths can help improve many aspects of your life and performance.
Increased endorphin production
Ice Baths have been shown to increase Dopamine (one of the feel-good endorphins) by more than 250%. Furthermore, the regular routine of Cold Water Immersion has been shown to elevate your baseline endorphin levels not only during & after use, but for rest of the day making you a happier, more robust human being.
Reduce stress level
Good stress are the things that are stressful to do but despite so, yield us a beneficial response by improving mental health, emotional state & or our physical being. Things like lifting weights, running, intervals (HIIT), taking on physical challenges, trying new things that scare us, spending time in heat (sauna), spending time in cold (cold showers/ ice baths) etc.
Layering more good stress into our lives strengthen our ability to cope with the other forms of (bad) stress. Somewhat like a buffer- the consistent rituals of cold, hot, exercise, and challenge allow us to more effectively regulate & control our stress response to the world as challenges arise.
Stimulates fat loss through thermogenesis
There are two types of fat in the body- unhealthy fat that accumulates where we don't want it (aka White Fat) & beneficial fat (aka Brown Fat) located mostly around the neck, shoulders & shoulder blades. Brown Fat is a metabolic heat producing tissue that is activated through exposure to cold through a process called ‘Brown Fat Thermogenesis’. The routine of ice baths activates this brown fat to increase your burn rate & metabolism. Put another way; the practise of ice baths stimulates the brown fat to produce heat which increases your metabolic rate & thus results in greater caloric burning.
Strengthen personal grit
Most will have heard of David Goggins & know of the persona he embodies, if not check him out through all the major online channels. The thing among many that make him an impressive subject is his ability to lean into ‘hard’. The regular practise of ‘hard’ & seeking more discomfort in life appears to have a very positive payoff in the development of character, grit & inner resilience.
Exposure to ice bathing encapsulates this through leaning into the intense environmental stress of cold. As we find our breathe in cold we realise we are able to control it, as we begin to control it we realise we are able to work through it & find comfort in the discomfort. This tolerance building & engaging in things that stretch us is the unlock to developing personal grit.
Enhanced mental health
Getting into cold stimulates numerous chemicals in the brain, however one of more importance is that of Norepinephrine which is a neurotransmitter that amongst other things is responsible for regulating attention, focus & mood.
The routine of ice bathing has been shown to increase Norepinephrine levels in the blood by 530% which may ultimately result in a happier, more focused & energised individual.
Strength Coaches & the field of sports science across all disciplines have used cold & ice baths for active recovery & soreness mitigation amongst athletes for decades so this is nothing new.
When we expose ourselves to an ice bath, the blood flow pathways in our bodies narrow & constrict. Blood moves away from out extremities like our fingers & toes to centralise back towards our key vital organs in a move to keep them warm.
Once we remove ourselves from our cold exposure- the same blood flow pathways open up & blood is recirculated around the body. It is this reopening that not only improves circulation, but the swift dilation encourages the removal of waste matter & stagnation as a form of flush out of the circulatory system. As waste material is removed, new oxygen & nutrients are delivered through the body via the blood.
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"... one of the greatest investments I have made for my health and wellbeing. Not only is it beneficial for recovery from a hard weeks training but so helpful to use regularly for mental acuity and resilience, as well as mood and sleep regulation."
Felice Chandler, Physiotherapist