Winter = warm blanket + hot cocoa + … ice baths?
When you think of the the cold winter season, ice baths probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. However, winter is a great time for ice bathing and might even make weathering the cold that much easier along with a handful of other benefits which we’ll discuss more about below.
So, what exactly are the tops benefits of cold plunging during winter?
1. Ice Baths Boost Immunity During the Winter
During the winter, when your immune system is at its weakest and germs seem to be at their highest, a cold ice bath can be especially good for you to build immunity. According to an NLM study, cold water exposure creates an “immunuostimulating” effect meaning it stimulates your body’s immune response. This was further supported by another NLM study where regular cold water exposure boosted the participant’s immune system while lowering inflammation.
This “immunostimulating” effect happens because cold water can trigger your lymphatic system to start pumping which is important because this system eliminates waste and toxins from the body. In turn, white blood cell count gets boosted and your immune response is improved.
2. Ice Baths Are Great For Your Skin In the Winter
Did you know the skin is the largest organ of the human body? This is why it’s so important to take care of your skin especially during the chilly winter months which cause a lot of skin problems like dryness and flakiness and may even worsen symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
Ice baths can help improve blood flow to your skin all over giving you fresh, glowing, healthier-looking skin in just a few minutes. First, the cold water contricts your blood flow but after your body starts warming up again your blood flow improves which can provide long-term healthier skin and better blood flow. The cold from the ice bath also reduces inflammation, puffiness, irritation, itchiness, and redness which not only makes your skin look better but aslo feel better. Not only that, ice baths can tighten your skin and erase fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Ice Baths Help With Seasonal Depression
The benefits of ice baths are two-fold—they’re good for your body and your mind! Ice baths work wonders for your mood and will help you feel invigorated and refreshed. Cold water immersion has also been shown to help with one’s mental health including seasonal depression that often occurs with the change into the winter season.
How do ice baths help with seasonal depression? Well, the shock of the cold water on your body boosts the production of norepinephrine which is important because low levels of this hormone & neurotransmitter have been linked to depression and poor mental health. In fact, in a study by Science Direct, people showed improvement of depression symptoms after several weeks of hydrotherapy. The boost of norepinephrine from ice baths not only helps alleviate depression but it also boosts energy short & long term, reduces stress & anxiety, and improves focus & mental fortitude.
4. Ice Baths Build Resilience To Cold
Each time you take the plunge into an ice bath and brave the cold, you’re training your body and mind to be resilient and handle the “stress” of the cold on your body and other life stressors too.
Through a consistent cold plunge routine, your body learns to quickly adapt to the cold water temperature and transfers that resistance and adaptability to other cold stressors like chilly winter weather. Soon, braving the cold of an ice bath and chilly winter weather will start to feel like a walk in the park instead of a walk in a blizzard.
Upgrade Your Winter Health Routine With a Plunge
Whether you’re an ice bath pro, a beginner, or somewhere in between, an ice bath is the perfect tool to add to your health and recovery routine during the winter and really all year round. Noteworthy ice baths benefits include boosting your immune system, improving your skin & hair, relieving seasonal depression, and building resilience to cold - which all come especially handy during the cold winter months.
Invest in your health and your cold plunge rouetine with the Plunge - our revolutionary, self-contained, easy-to-maintain cold plunge tub that will transform your health and recovery routine. Remember to grab your FREE copy of our cold plunge protocols to maximize your ice bathing experience with protocols from Dr. Andrew Huberman and our very own founders, Mike & Ryan.