Last updated January 24, 2024
Maybe you’ve heard of cold therapy before and think the only way you can experience it or reap its benefits is to trek to Iceland and sit in the snow. Well, that’s just not the case.
You can actually incorporate cold therapy into your life no matter where you live in the world and from your own home.
Before we jump into the ways you can incorporate cold therapy into your life, I first need to sell you a bit more on its benefits.
After all, I’m not sure anyone loves to change their routine straight from a warming wake-up to an ice cold plunge.
Further, perhaps you’ve tried one form of cold therapy and thought (like yoga), it’s all the same.. Well, I’m here to crash that generalization party.
Shocking your system may not sound like the best thing, but in this case, change is a good thing—figuratively and literally—to wake us up.
Cold therapy is the practice of immersing yourself in water that’s below 59°F (15°C) to treat health conditions or stimulate health benefits.
Cold therapy is known to decrease inflammation, improve your mood, boost your immune system and increase your metabolism. Now do I have your ears and body attentive?
Five Ways to Get Started with Cold Therapy
Here are five ways you can incorporate cold therapy into your life, or dabble and try to see which one best fits for you.
1. Cold Showers
I started incorporating this method into my daily routine over the past six months or so. At first, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t pleasant and actually reminded me of my days studying abroad in Italy where there actually wasn’t any hot water to source.
Over time, starting out gradually with 1-2 minutes of cold then switching to warm was a good way to ease my way up to a full cold shower on most days. A bonus, it’s an environmental save not wasting the water waiting for it to warm up.
Cryotherapy has gotten a lot of hype over the past few years. Perhaps, more than the actual boast of benefits behind the cold therapy concept itself.
Cryotherapy, or cryogenic therapy, is any form of treatment using freezing or near-freezing temperatures. What you’ve probably seen are photos of the “cryochamber” where you stand still for two to five minutes.
The body is exposed to liquid nitrogen in subzero temperatures, typically between -100 and -140 degrees Celsius. While I haven’t tried this chamber yet personally, I would certainly be open to give it a go as a human popsicle.
3. Get Some Blue Mind Therapy
This option is a bit climate and location dependent, but if you happen to live near an ocean and the temperatures drop in the ocean, this can be a way to heal, cleanse and cold therapy your body with zero cost. Truly immersed in nature, especially if it’s salt water, too.
4. Make Your Own Cold Tub
Athletes have been doing this method for years. Even if you’re not the quarterback of the football team, there are actual ice bath rooms, clubs and treatment centers where you can go.
Or, a “tub from home” alternative, fill yours with ice and cold water to chill. Although, you would need quite a sizeable freezer full of ice to do so, it is completely possible.
5. Cold Therapy Via a Cold Plunge
Hot and cold plunges have caught on quite a bit with the fitness, hotel and spa industry over the past 5-10 years. While I don’t have one of these at home (home goals) or in my gym, some do have a hot and cold plunge as part of their offerings.
My most recent use of a cold plunge was on a recent visit to the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, getting a personal tour and first look at the luxury property. While I haven’t reached the level of pro status to linger for the recommended 5-10+ minutes, I did do a dip in and out for one minute, and right into the sauna. Progress in practice!
These are five ways to incorporate cold therapy into your life to experience the healing benefits for mind, body and genetics.
Have you tried cold therapy before? If so, where, and what are your thoughts on it?
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