Shiver your way to better health with a cold plunge
By Tracy Dye
When it comes to relieving sore muscles and pampering yourself, turning up the heat is often what is sought after to get that “ahh” feeling. Hot tubs and saunas are a go-to for many following a strenuous workout or to relieve pain. But what about turning the temperature down several notches? Taking a frosty dip in a cold plunge can be exactly what your body needs to improve circulation, reduce heart rate and leave you feeling renewed.
What is a cold plunge?
Cold plunges are small pools kept at approximately 55 degrees. By briefly shocking the system, this type of immersion therapy stimulates circulation, which leads to reduced recovery time and rejuvenation of tired and sore muscles.
Several athletes and fitness enthusiasts seek out cold plunges to reduce inflammation in muscles and improve mood.
Cold plunges have been used as a complementary alternative therapy for centuries, and several scientific studies have also shown that cold water can provide a variety of benefits for the body and the mind.
Don’t worry, be happy
You can actually shiver your way to a better mood, according to a study from Medical Hypotheses. The study found that participants with depression who regularly took cold showers experienced relief from symptoms, as well as general pain reduction.
Another study found that people who practiced swimming in the winter enjoyed an increase in energy and mood as compared to a control group.
Yes, simply sitting in a pool of cold water or taking an icy shower can help you lose weight. According to a 2009 study, extremely cold temperatures activated the brown fat in participants by a 15-fold increase. Unlike white fat, brown fat cells burn energy and produce heat in the body.
This isn’t to say that you should ditch exercise in favor of getting frigid, but incorporating cold water into your routine can be a great complement to your workouts.
Take the plunge at Haven on the Lake
The cold plunge is one of seven amenities that make up Haven’s healing environments. It is designed to be enjoyed on its own or in combination with one of the other environments, such as the sauna, steam bath or hot tub.
Call 410-715-3020 for more information or email HOL.info@ColumbiaAssociation.org.