For the first time or as an experienced cold-water hero it matters how long you can sit in an ice bath. You really have to train this. If you are experienced, you might be able to do this for 20 minutes, whereas the first time you want to get out in 30 seconds. A big difference and the effects are also different.
Time is not important
With an ice bath session, it is not necessarily about the time you spend in it, time is not important at all. It’s more about the regularity of the session. The first health benefits start if you regularly step into an ice bath for 30 seconds once a week, but this can also be every morning.
You should not be concerned with time when you sit in the ice bath. Time is not important. When it is important to you, you are thinking about it all the time, looking at a time clock and noticing that the seconds are ticking away.
If you are stepping into an ice bath alone, it is best to set an alarm clock at the five-minute mark beforehand to make sure you don’t stay any longer. Or let whoever is with you keep track of the time. The moment you don’t have to worry about that, you will notice that time flies and you can easily reach the three-minute mark.
How long can you step into an ice bath?
During a conversation with Koen de Jong (author of Wim Hof’s Cold Trial), he said that, in principle, you should never sit in an ice bath for longer than a few5 minutes. The goal is to give you energy, to give you the feeling that you can take on the whole world the moment you step out of the bath.
When you stay in it longer than those minutes5, you come out tired rather than full of energy. How is that possible? Because when you are in a bath, your body is working hard to ensure that your body temperature remains around the correct 37 degrees. If your body has to do this for longer than 5 minutes, it gets tired and you will leave the ice bath without that euphoric feeling. We, therefore, recommend that you sit in an ice bath for between one and two minutes.
Better to repeat than to sit for a long time
Would you like to sit in an ice bath for a bit longer? Then go for the repetition, which actually works the same way as in a sauna. When the time has expired, you need to rest a little, get back up to temperature and then you can start the sauna session all over again. It works the same way with an ice bath. You can easily step into an ice bath several times in a row as long as you take a few breaks in between.
Advantages of an ice bath
The physiological and mental benefits of an ice bath start quite soon. It is really about the regularity and not the time you spend in it. Some of the benefits of regularly getting into an ice bath are:
- Your heart rate goes down by up 15 to 30 beats per minute
- You come to a full relaxation as you sleep deeper
- You are less often sick and less susceptible to flu and colds
- You become mentally stronger
- You are more resistant to extreme temperature changes
- You activate the brown fat in your body
Want to know more about ice baths?
Are you curious about the best way to step into an ice bath for the first time, about some breathing exercises or would you like to install an ice bath in your own home or garden? We understand that all too well! We are happy to help you further. Check out our products or read more about Icetubs and ice baths on our blog!