After doubting for a long time, the moment has come for you to step into an ice bath for the first time. How long are you going to last and what do you have to take into account? And believe me, after the first time, there will be a second time, a third time and it will become a regular part of your week or day.
The first time in an ice bath; don’t be afraid!
The first time in an ice bath can be scary, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Nothing can actually happen. The best thing to do the first time you step into the ice water is to do it together with someone and not alone. This person can help you control your breathing and keep an eye on your progress.
Before stepping into an ice bath you can choose to do some breathing exercises like the Wim Hof method, yoga, or meditation. This is not necessary, you can also enter an ice bath without any preparation. A breathing exercise, yoga, or meditation will take care of it. It already ensures that you are relaxed.
Getting breathing under control
Whether it is the first time in an ice bath or you are experienced. At first, your body is always startled. You notice this immediately in your breathing. Your breathing will be jerky and fast. So try to get this under control quickly. The most important thing in an ice bath is that you succeed in doing this.
The best way to control your breathing is to focus on it. Close your eyes and bring all your attention to this. Breathe in very deeply and breathe out very deeply in a calm way. If you or someone else notices that you can’t do this quickly, hold your breath for a moment and try again. It can also work if someone else who is standing outside the ice bath says aloud that you have to breathe in and breathe out, then breathe with them.
Sore fingers and toes
The moment you step into the ice-cold water your body immediately goes into survival mode, you want to get out. Because the most important organs are located in your torso, your heart pumps the most blood to these organs. As a result, less blood, and therefore less heat, reaches other parts of your body. You will notice it first in your fingers and toes, which may feel tingly. If it really bothers you, you can keep your hands under your armpits and wear special socks if necessary.
From my own experience, I can tell you that it is quite difficult and you really feel the pain for a while. At that moment, you really want to leave. But your own (mental) strength makes you stay put. At the moment you are 100% in your own breathing you don’t feel it anymore, you don’t even think. You are completely in the now, zen and with full focus on your breathing. An intense, special and unique way to relax and de-stress.
Do not go longer than 5 minutes
When you start looking into the first time you step into an ice bath, you come across the wildest stories. People who last 25 minutes or even longer. Do not do this. This is really not necessary. During a conversation with Koen de Jong (author of Wim Hof’s cold trick), he told us that in principle you should never sit in an ice bath longer than 5 minutes. The goal is to give you energy, to make you feel like you can take on the whole world the moment you step out of the bath.
When you stay in it longer than those 5 minutes, 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.
Time is not important
That sounds a bit contradictory to what I am saying above, it is not. It is not a competition to sit in an ice bath, time does not matter and is different for everyone. You should not be concerned with time when you sit in the ice bath. Time is not important. When you do care about time, you are thinking about it all the time and you are looking at a time clock and you notice that it takes a long time for the seconds to tick 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.
When do you take a dip?
Now that you know what to look out for the first time in an ice bath, you can really get started. We will be happy to help you with your first and certainly your next ice bath sessions. Check out our products or contact us!