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How to Cold Plunge at Home

Take a look on your social media pages and you'll see that cold plunges are all the rage. The sudden sensation of ice-cold water shocks your system, which then rewards you with a number of health benefits.

Maybe you want to see what all the hype's about, but you want to try it out by yourself first. That way, if you like it, you can then experience the real deal with some pros.

Luckily for you, ice baths aren't too hard to DIY. Here's how to cold plunge at home so you can have the best and safest experience possible.

Prepare Your Equipment

If you've got a tub, then that's fantastic, as that cuts out a lot of work (and expenses). Otherwise, you'll have to purchase something like a large plastic tub or bin, or even a portable ice bath if you want to commit on a long-term basis. If you're using those things, you'll want to make the area safe by putting down rugs or mats.

If you don't have a bathtub and don't want to make huge purchases, you can technically get by with a cold shower. It's definitely not the same as full immersion in an ice bath, but it's an okay alternative if you have nothing else.

To do your cold plunge, you'll need a significant amount of ice to successfully lower the water temperature. To make sure it's at the right coldness, you'll need a thermometer to gauge the water as you add the ice in.

Other equipment you should have include a timer to keep track of your immersion time, as well as a fluffy towel and warm clothes to dry off and warm up immediately after your at-home ice bath.

How to Cold Plunge at Home
To cold plunge, you're going to need a large tub, and a LOT of ice!

Set Up the Cold Plunge

Whether you've got a bathtub or another container, you can start by filling it with the coldest water you can get. Stick the thermometer in to get an initial temperature reading; it'll probably be at or above 60°F. Now grab your ice and add it in, little by little, pausing to check the temperature. 

Now, you might be wondering, "How cold should an ice bath be?" For an effective at-home cold plunge, it should be under 60°F, to activate your brown fat, which helps a number of bodily functions. However, temperatures of up to 70°F are great for just relaxing and bettering your mental health.

Ultimately, it's entirely up to you what temperature you're comfortable with. In general, you should play it safe and start with a warmer temperature. If you find it pretty doable, you can decrease the temperature further for your next ice baths.

Prepare Yourself

It's always a good idea to hydrate before any activity, and a cold plunge at home is no exception. Drink plenty of water to ensure you're in optimal shape.

You can also do some light exercises or stretches. This will increase your body temperature a little and make the ice bath not as shocking.

In addition, take some deep breaths to mentally prepare yourself. For the best results, try our best ice bath breathing techniques.

Breathing techniques for at home cold plunge
Breathing techniques will support you to stay in the ice bath.

Carry Out the Immersion Process

Contrary to popular belief, you don't yell "Geronimo!" and cannonball straight into your ice bath! Instead, it's a slower process.

First, ease yourself into the water to avoid real shock. Start with your feet and legs, then slowly immerse the rest of your body. 

While you're doing this, focus on your breathing to stay calm. Deep and controlled breaths can make the ice bath more tolerable.

The length of your cold plunge will depend on how you're feeling and how cold the water is. For beginners, two minutes at 50°F is plenty, so you can set your timer to that length. You can always build up to longer periods with each at-home cold plunge.

If you're just taking a cold shower, you can turn the dial down to the coldest setting for up to 30 seconds at the end of your hot shower. Over time, you can increase the length, and start the cold temperature earlier in your shower. Eventually, you may be able to start off with a completely cold shower for a cold-plunge-like experience.

Important Things to Consider

No matter how you're immersing yourself in cold water, always listen to your body. Hypothermia is a real danger, so know the signs and get out if you recognize them during your plunge. In particular, if you feel dizzy, excessively cold, or just plain uncomfortable, then exit the ice bath immediately.

Plus, avoid staying in the water for too long. Typically, 5-10 minutes should be the maximum, with the period being shorter the colder the water is.

Most importantly, if you have any health conditions or concerns, consult with a doctor before starting ice baths. Even if you think you're in good health, you should speak with your doctor anyway, as you'll have peace of mind after getting a clean bill of health.

Do Post-Plunge Care

When you're finished with your ice bath, immediately dry off. This is crucial, as it'll reduce further cooling of your body temperature, which can become dangerous.

Then, take it a step further and put on warm clothes to help your body reheat. Treat yourself to tasty warm fluids, such as soup or hot cocoa. You can also eat a light snack to restore energy if you're feeling a bit drained.

at home ice bath
You can't beat that post-ice bath high!

Know How to Cold Plunge at Home Safely

Now you know how to cold plunge at home, which can already be pretty effective. This is especially true if you consistently have ice baths, such as two to three times a week.

However, you'll have a much better time under the supervision of a professional. When you're in a relaxing setting and in the company of others, it'll be a hugely improved experience in comparison to cold plunging at home.

Take a look at our cold plunge packages now if you'd like an expert's guidance. We have our sessions in sunny Playa del Carmen, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the beach while you chill.


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