Cold therapy remains one of the most debated recovery techniques today, and that’s due to several myths surrounding the effects of cold water immersion (CWI) on the body. Though there is scientific data to back proof of its effects and many people understand the benefits of ice baths, misconceptions prevent others from taking the plunge.
Why People Avoid Ice Baths (Ice Bath Myths)
We’ve scoured the Internet for the seven most common myths on why people avoid ice baths. With proven data to back our research, we’ve debunked these myths so you never avoid an ice bath again.
Myth 1: Ice baths are overrated
This myth emerges from the idea that there are other recovery techniques that are available to solve the same issues an ice bath can. Ice bathing is widely known to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and repair muscle and tissue damage; however, yoga, walking, or massage can also help improve recovery rates. The thing is, ice baths have remedial and health benefits that surpass what other recovery methods can offer. The simple fact is cold water immersion is a unique and multifunctional therapy that tackles an extensive list of health conditions beyond that of other recovery techniques.
Myth 2: Ice baths don’t work for everyone
When you see people taking a cold water plunge, you may wonder—is it really working? While everyone’s experience might be different, there is sufficient scientific evidence on ice bath therapy that has determined a variety of conclusive therapeutic benefits; these include improving blood flow and immune responses, stimulating weight loss, and improving mental health.
For ice baths to be the most effective, clinical studies indicate that cold exposure should fall in the temperature range between 10°C and 15°C and for a duration of two to five minutes.
It should be noted, cold water immersions therapy has been adopted for centuries as a natural treatment modality and continues to be a reliable practice in regions like Japan, Sweden, and Europe. There’s also a reason why many athletes today still rely on ice baths as a part of their post-recovery regimen – that’s because it works!
Myth 3: Ice baths are only for professional athletes
Athletes who train hard tend to do more damage to their muscles and joints; it’s no wonder we see them often turning to various therapies for quick and effective relief – ice baths included. This has left many to assume cold water immersion is only necessary for professional athletes. The truth is amateur athletes or weekend warriors can suffer injury to muscles and tissues through rigorous exercise, just like any professional sportsperson. The amateur athlete may be at higher risk for injury. Research shows that the beneficial effects of cold water immersion for reducing post-exercise symptoms aren’t just limited to athletes but apply to everyone.
Myth 4: Ice baths are only for workout injury or recovery
It’s no secret ice baths are the go-to treatment for workout injury and recovery, but scientific findings indicate that cold therapy can also offer multiple benefits for chronic physical ailments, psychological issues, and emotional conditions. In fact, cold water immersion is proven to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. It has also been used as a form of therapy to improve mindfulness, mental strength, and brain function, plus so much more.
Myth 5: Ice baths are more terrifying than they are satisfying
The initial shock of cold water immersion is a hurdle for many. However, the way you approach taking cold water immersion baths can completely diminish fear or hesitation. Experts recommend that first-timers start off soaking in tolerable yet safe cold temperatures and gradually lower the degrees for subsequent baths. Then with regular and consistent use of an ice bath, the body acclimatizes to these temperatures. With consistent use of CWI, ice bathers learn that the initial shock will subside quickly and look forward to daily ice baths.
Myth 6: Ice baths are unsafe and cause more harm than good
Naturally, exposing the body to hazardous cold temperatures can cause harm. When cold-soaking guidelines are not followed, individuals can experience frostbite and hyperthermia in extreme circumstances. The more vulnerable can suffer a sudden spike in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to heart failure and stroke. However, cold water immersion is safe when the soaking sessions are kept short and the temperature doesn’t fall below 10°C. Be sure to stick to soaking guidelines so that you have a positive and beneficial cold-soaking experience.
Myth 7: Ice baths are hard to create and set up
Creating an ice bath is no different than making an at-home aromatherapy warm bath. In fact, it’s much easier—all you need is enough ice in your bath and a thermometer so you can monitor the water temperature. Of course, there’s nothing better than an ice bath device like Ice Barrel to get the best, most beneficial experience. Besides the at-home convenience of the Ice Barrel, the unit allows for full-body immersion that keeps the body in an upright position, making it easier to unwind and focus.
Myths Debunked: Why Make Ice Bathing A Routine
Ice bath myths aside, there are many reasons why ice bathing should become a part of your wellness routine. Cold baths are linked to a long list of physical, psychological, and emotional benefits with routine dips. Braving the cold is all you need to do to unlock all these benefits, and purchasing your very own Ice Barrel is a great first step.
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