I love the sun and summer, but when it’s already fall, I can not wait for winter, the first frosts and a bath in the ice. For those who have never tried it, it may seem like madness or some extreme sport. Although joint baths in cold water are becoming more and more popular, then the one that suits me most is swimming alone or in a small group of people who are close to me. For me it is a way to calm down, contact with nature, a moment for myself and a dose of positive energy. Therefore, when the first frosts appear, I go to the water and when I enter it, nothing matters except here and now.
There is no joke with cold, but with the right approach and respect, such close encounters with cold can teach us a lot about ourselves and bring a lot of health benefits.
When entering the cold water, a lot happens in our body. The first contact with cold water causes a shock and defensive reaction of our body, blood vessels on the surface tighten, draining blood into the depths of the body. There is increased production of adrenaline, original instincts arise in us, and the body is preparing to fight or escape. After some time, heart rate and breathing calm down, endorphins begin to pulse in the body, a hormone storm is a defense mechanism that will provide us with the greatest chance of surviving in a situation of potential life threat. After leaving the water, the blood gradually begins to reach the skin and we feel pleasant warmth and throbbing. For a while, we are not cold, but after a while we feel a slight tiredness. It is enough, however, to thoroughly dry, dress and warm up, to feel the energy pulsating and circulating in our body.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to see what it’s like to take a bath in the ice-hole, here are some tips and tricks:
- If this is your first time, go to the water with someone you know or join some group of walruses. Check the place where you are going to enter the water so that you know how deep it is and what the bottom is.
- Before you start to undress and enter the water – warm up, run, chop, practice so that you feel warm, but you do not sweat.
- Undress and enter the water slowly but surely. Immerse yourself as deeply as you want and for as long as you want. Remember that this is to be fun and not any competition. So when you feel that it is enough for today, leave the water. The tremor of the body is an obvious signal to get out of the water and should not be allowed until the limbs become numb.
- After entering the water, try to calm your breathing and heartbeat, try to breathe through your nose all the time.
- After leaving the water, wipe thoroughly, dress and warm up through movement. You can also drink warm tea. Then come back home and rest.
Do you need some „equipment” to start the adventure with ice baths?
If you start to be interested in this subject, you will probably notice that some people put on special shoes, gloves and hats before entering the water, and then stand in the water to the armpits with exposed palms. Shoes and gloves actually facilitate the entry into the icy water and make you stay in it longer, because through the feet and hands we lose a lot of heat. However, if we want to temper our body, why not tempe the whole? In fact, at the beginning of the feet and hands will be the quickest freezing, causing that we will have to leave the water earlier. However, this is information that the feet and hands are the weak link on which we should focus. After a while, the fingers and toes will stop freezing so fast and you will be able to experience the cold in your entire body. That’s why I think that shoes and gloves are not necessary at all.
Such controlled cold exposure brings quite a lot of health benefits. What specific benefits can you experience if you regularly bathe in ice water?
- It’s training for the whole body, all muscles and the entire cardiovascular system work intensively.
- There is a kind of „mobilization” of the organism and defensive and regenerative processes in our body begin. The body’s natural immunity increases.
- The blood circulation of the whole body, especially the skin, improves, which can visibly improve the overall condition of the skin and hair.
- Increased effort, accelerated metabolism, release of hormones and better oxygenation result in improved well-being and concentration.
- A cold bath is also a very good way to recover muscles faster after intense exercise and to relieve pain and stress.
- The entrance to the icy water is a meeting with the element of cold. At the moment of this meeting, there is no time for rocking in the clouds. It’s an opportunity to feel your body, your strength and your place in nature.
I do not promise you that the first cold bath will be easy and I do not intend to convince you that it is wonderful and that you will like it for sure. But I encourage you to try to immerse yourself in ice water at least once and find out that it is not so scary, and it can even be pleasant. Perhaps the cold will help you realize that there are loads of strength and energy in you that you did not know about before.