"I want to create a cold plunge routine, how do I do that?"
1. Commit to yourself. Start with a 21 day challenge. One of the best ways to form a new habit is to challenge ourselves. To make a new habit, you're asking your brain to repeat an idea or complete a task until it becomes solidified as fact, or in this case, a conscious habit. This is neuroplasticity for optimal healthy living.
2. Establish a rhythm or time of day to cold plunge. Some people prefer first thing in the morning or midday. You could go at night, just remember that cold plunging has a stimulating effect. We dig it first thing in the morning, it's the perfect coffee jolt!
3. Get your temperature just right. Put it at a temp that you can sit in for about 10-30 rounds of slow breathing (each breath taking about 3-4 seconds). We recommend starting at 55-60° if you're new to cold exposure.
4. Enter on the exhale. Before you get into the tub, take a few long, deep breaths. Calm your mind. Set your focus. Step in and submerge your body on a long exhale breath.
5. Count your breaths. Calm your mind by breathing those slow, steady, and mindful breaths. Don't worry about counting seconds or minutes. Just breathe 10-30 rounds of breath. When we focus on our breath, we connect to our bodies. This is how we can create a positive brain + body connection, creating a net resilient effect to healthful stress response.
6. Feel energized, feel purposeful! As Wim Hof says, "get high on your own supply." Do it everyday. One of our friend's, Jen, a full-time working mother of 3 and yoga teacher, who has been challenging herself to daily plunge says, "Routines feel safe and manageable, especially in the chaos of life. To introduce my body to stress intentionally and purposely helps me become more resilient and bring me into choice. When I slip into the cold plunge daily, I feel grounded and also experience a sense of freedom. Even if/when my days feel chaotic, there is a rhythm and sense of ease when I tap back into the sensation of the cold."
If you want to geek out more on net resilient effect, check out Dr. Rhonda Patrick's talk on Hormetic Stressors, Health Benefits of Sauna and Cold Exposure. She talks about the value of healthy stress and gives us great, scientific reasoning and benefits of cold exposure for our health, brains, and living well.