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How to get started and best practices

Your complete guide to cold plunging – Cold Corner

Find all the top tips, newest articles and insights related to cold plunging, cold therapy and ice bathing. Discover all the benefits from this column where we bring first hand experience and mix it with science. Whether you want to know how to start cold plunging or you want to enhance  your cold journey even further, this is for you.

The first dip – it´s cold outside of your comfort zone

I didn´t have to climb up a mountain or break a personal best at the gym to feel like I have gone above and beyond myself. I didn´t have to give a speech in front of thousands of people to get out of my comfort zone. No, I simply had to just dip in a pool. Who knew?

I had read up on cold water therapy which gave me perhaps a false sense of confidence and a vague understanding about it before going in it. I had heard of some of the benefits regarding muscle recovery, blood circulation, and increased brain activity. I also knew about the main risks of going from too hot into too cold (not the best for your heart by the way) and the risk of hypothermia if the body temperature drops too low for too long. I had no set time or limit regarding how long I should be in for. My plan was to listen to my body and have fun with it.

It was time to take the plunge (literally). I noticed that the pool screen was showing 10 degrees Celsius. It seemed quite a high for cold water. No, I can assure you it was cold. Cold enough for the initial shock to kick in. Cold enough for the hairs on my skin start pointing up like a hedgehog ready to defend itself. Cold enough for my body to start shivering to heat up itself. That was the very first lesson I learned. Not to let any prenotions or ideas about what it should look like fool you. Because I can tell you now that the only foolish thing was me thinking 10 degrees was too “warm”.

Okay it was cold, but I knew I had to push through the threshold of the initial shock to get to the good stuff, or that is what I read at least. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. My body started to calm down and it became more enjoyable. Once it started to feel very uncomfortable, I got out. All that in the span of a few minutes. Truth be told, the feeling after was the best part. My body felt fresh and awake. My mind was alert and it felt like how I imagine people who drink coffee feel after two espressos.

I tend to go all out in the beginning only to get fed up and eventually stop. You know, how people join the gym every January and it is busy for the first couple of months but by march everyone is gone. So, I am starting off slowly. Let my body build up a tolerance. I am going into cold 2 times a week and increasing the amount as I go. Making sure to leave it on a good note and wanting more.

The internet seems to love this idea of ice bathing being an extreme sport where people dive headfirst into subzero waters. Like somehow, we are stronger and cooler the colder the water seems to be and the crazier we get with it. In reality, if you want to do it well, consistent, and gain the most benefits, you should start by taking it slow.

How was your first dip? Make sure to share your experiences with us on our social media channels! We love to hear from you and explore the world of cold together.