Is an Ice Bath Healthy?
Dec 20, 2022
HEALTHY ASPECTS OF AN ICE BATH
- Boosts your immune system
- Activates the vascular system
- Helps produce brown fat
- Reduces dry skin
- Resets your mind
- Relaxing and stress relieving
- Pushes your limits
BOOST FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Our immune system protects your body from attacks by foreign bacteria and viruses. This is done by the white blood cells in our body. They destroy disease-makers and make you feel better quickly. When you step into an ice bath, your body automatically makes these white blood cells because your body wants to protect you from the extreme cold. In addition to these blood cells, your body also makes more NK cells (Natural Killer Cells). These cells are there to detect and destroy virus-infected cells. So by taking regular cold water dips, you strengthen your immune system.
ACTIVATING THE VASCULAR SYSTEM
The vascular system protects us from cold and heat by contracting. But we also wear clothes to protect us from cold and heat while this vascular system actually does this for us. As a result, our vascular system is not properly stimulated. When you immerse yourself in the cold, all the little muscles of the vascular system, there are millions of them, are activated and trained
We are addicted to warmth. In winter, we dress thickly against the cold, we shower hot and almost always have the heating on. We expose our bodies little to extreme cold. As a result, our brown fat disappears because it no longer has any value.
In fact, brown fat is good for maintaining temperature. If you are in danger of hypothermia the brown fat can be converted into fuel and energy. As soon as you start exercising with cold, you produce brown fat. What good is brown fat if you don't expose yourself to cold? Brown fat turns out to be a valuable link to turning white fat into fuel.
LESS DRY SKINDry skin can be caused by showering too hot. The heat washes away fat cells from your body, which cause your skin to feel oily and soft. It is better to step under a cold shower or into an ice bath because it makes your skin less likely to dry out. In the end, cold water works even better than applying body lotions and creams.
RESET OF THOUGHTSTaking an ice bath not only has physical benefits, but also mental benefits. We all have stress from time to time, and often when we think we are "relaxing" in bed all sorts of thoughts come to mind. The ice-cold water is a good de-stressor and reset for your thoughts. It is impossible to think about your daily issues during a cold water dip. You have to focus so much on your breathing in the cold water that your thoughts are completely off. As soon as you step out of the ice bath, you will feel a lot more energetic and relaxed. Which helps with good mental health and fine sleep.
PUSHING BOUNDARIESIf you had previously asked me if I would step into an 8-degree bathtub, I would have said no. You don't do that for fun, do you?
But after getting acquainted with an ice bath once, I can recommend it to anyone. The victory over yourself, pushing your limits and doing something you thought you could never do... It gives so much energy and a huge boost. After experiencing extreme cold, you find that you are capable of much more than you initially thought.