Athletes and even people who simply love to work out, have various ways when it comes to cooling down. When people talk about cooling down, it is simply doing light exercises to get the body ready to relax and then a nice cool shower.
However, some people don’t just simply take showers, they take an ice bath instead, there are even some who believes it’s best to swim on a lake or any body of water during the winter.
This is not some sort of a new trend, in fact, people have been doing it since the 1800’s. During that time, people from the Scandinavia and Russia swim on ice-cold lakes and beaches during the winter and it spread to other countries until, during the beginning of the 1900’s, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club hosted the very first United States ocean dip. For some, there are a lot of proven benefits from it, but some experts gave out some warnings on its dangers, continue reading to find out more.
Ice Baths & Swimming In Freezing Water
According to a 76-year-old woman from the Czech Republic, who has been swimming in the ice-cold water for years, she hasn’t gotten sick ever since she started and it has been 25 years since then.
KitKat Tauferova, who is a member of the Czech Republic swimming club, her back pain disappeared when she started swimming in the cold water, and her blood circulation became better as well as her bones which should be a problem because of her age.
However, the Czech woman considers herself perfectly healthy and feeling great. Medical experts believe that swimming is actually one of the best exercises there is, especially for people who are considered to be on their senior years, this is because it is not a weight-bearing activity unlike going to the gym or doing other exercises or sport.
Do Ice Baths Really Work?
Trainers said that it is now pretty common nowadays for athletes to take a dip into a tub with ice or really cold water in it, and the purpose of this is to reduce the swelling from the exercise as well as be able to recover after such a tough workout session.
Most athletes feel refreshed and rejuvenated right after they take an ice bath. It makes them feel less sore compared to not taking one. However, it is not exactly worth being that cold.
This is according to the head physical therapist of the Boston Red Sox, Dr. Mike Reinold, he said that Iced cold baths to reduce the swelling because of the breakdown of muscles after athletes train, it also helps with inflammation.
Then again, some studies have shown that there is no difference when someone takes an ice cold bath and to someone who simply had a bath.
Dr. Reinold believes that the best way for an athlete to spend their recovery time is to simply use a contrast shower, wherein the switching of the hot and cold temperature would be used instead of just taking a cold one.
Having contrast showers would then help the body constrict its blood vessels that would help flush out lactic acid and it would help the body recovery even quicker. Contrasts showers are recommended but the usual recovery habits such as foam rolling, stretching and consuming the proper nutrition is full the best.
Those who do not want to take some Iced cold baths but believe that it simply works wonders for their body, may give the cryotherapy a try.
There is a whole-body cryotherapy in Minnesota known as the Quick Fix Cryotherapy. Wonder, Denise Molesky said that they use a below zero temperature to help their customers treat sore muscles.
She also mentioned how they had some clients that were able to rehabilitate faster after an injury. Professional athletes have used this such as players from the NBA and the NFL, wherein athletes would need to have a fast recovery after an injury to be able to play again.
This has been one of the most used pain management methods after physicians have been careful in prescribing opioids because of the addiction. According to Molesky, her clients, especially those who are recovering from injuries, only need a few days to get better instead of spending weeks.