Exposing yourself to cold can open you up to numerous benefits, but what happens after we end a cold therapy session? It’s time to warm up.
Warming up after a cold plunge is an important part of the process, so approach this practice with the same care you put into your cold routine with these tips.
What to do after an ice bath
Our framework for a post-ice bath routine is:
- A moment of celebration — This can be saying an affirmation, high-fiving a friend or just pausing for a moment of gratitude.
- Deep breaths — Deep, slow breaths can help regulate your body temperature and calm your nervous system.
- Slow re-warm — Unless you are practicing contrast therapy, resist the urge to immediately jump in a hot shower after your ice bath. You’ll get the most benefit if you slowly and naturally warm your body.
How to warm up after an ice bath
Move your body
Movement can increase blood flow back to your body (especially your extremities), which in turn increases your body temperature. Start slow and gentle, as you may experience some numbness after your ice bath. movement to increase circulation, which increases body temperature.
You can try:
- Horse stance
- Arm circles
- Leg swings
- Air squats
- Yoga and stretching
Massage or body tapping
Gentle physical pressure is another way to encourage blow flow and increase body temperature naturally.
Try light, whole-hand tapping. You can do this to your face, your arms and legs or your entire body. Try a few variations and see what feels best to you, paying special attention to any areas that tend to get colder, such as your fingers and toes.
Contrast therapy (where you expose your body to both hot and cold temperatures) has its benefits. Use warm air and sunshine as a gentle (and completely free) way to follow up your cold exposure with heat.
Warm drink or food
Having a warm drink, such as coffee, tea or soup can help rewarm your body from the inside out.
Opt for foods that are rich in healthy fats, protein and iron (such as eggs), which can help you warm up.
Create your own post-plunge routine
Warming up after a cold plunge is a crucial step in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.
By following these practical tips, you can maximize the benefits of cold water therapy while minimizing discomfort.
Remember that every person has a different tolerance to cold, so listen to your body and adjust your recovery routine accordingly. With the right approach, you’ll reap the rewards of cold water immersion and emerge feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Oct 20, 2023
Getting into cold plunging can feel a bit like joining a club (of the coolest kind). And just like many…