Ice baths have become increasingly popular as a recovery method among professional athletes, health and fitness enthusiasts. As such, many people consider them an important part of their training regimen. But what do they actually do? And should you try them? In modern times, ice baths have made a comeback in various forms. Athletes use them as a way to reduce swelling and pain, others use them as a kind of treatment for chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis. Even if you don’t necessarily need an ice bath to treat anything specific, many people find that it can be relaxing, and even enjoyable.
5 Reasons You Should Start Taking Ice Baths
Sometimes the hardest part of a workout is getting out of bed and actually doing it. But once you’re in the thick of it, you feel great! The endorphins are kicking in and you’ve worked up a sweat. It’s a huge relief! But then comes the recovery period, and it’s way less fun. Sure, there’s soreness to deal with, but that’s just part of being an athlete. What most people don’t realize is how much cold water baths can speed up muscle recovery time.
Helps with inflammation and swelling after workouts
Taking an ice bath after a workout isn’t just for elite athletes — it’s also good for people who do light or intermediate workouts at the gym or at home. They work by reducing inflammation and swelling, which can help relieve soreness. Ice baths also increase blood flow, which helps bring nutrients to the muscles that need them. Even if you’re not doing a lot of heavy lifting or running, the effects of exercise can still cause some damage to your muscles and joints.
Ice baths can help increase your range of motion
It can Improve Your Circulation
Ice baths can also help improve your circulation by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood. This is important because when you exercise intensely, it’s not uncommon for your heart rate to increase significantly. In order for more oxygen to get into your bloodstream, more blood needs to get pumped around your body. The colder temperatures can help increase circulation by constricting the blood vessels and forcing more blood into them, allowing more oxygen into your system so you can perform at a higher level throughout your workout routine. These actions help transport more oxygen-rich blood throughout the body at a rate similar to what occurs during exercise when your heart rate is elevated.
Helps you recover from an injury
Ice baths have been used for years by athletes and physical therapists to help treat injuries and speed up recovery time. The cold water reduces swelling, which helps relieve pain and pressure on injured tissues. Cold water also decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines, which are chemicals that cause inflammation and pain in the body. This means that taking an ice bath after an intense workout or training session can help you feel less sore the next day.
It can help you sleep better
The cold water can also help you sleep better, according to another study from the Journal of Athletic Training. Researchers found that taking an ice bath before bed helped participants fall asleep faster than those who did not take one, as well as improve their quality of sleep — which means they slept longer and better than usual. The researchers noted that this might be because of how hot your body gets during exercise; when it cools down quickly after working out, it helps regulate your body temperature at night so you sleep better.
How do you Take an Ice Bath
So how do you take an ice bath? Fill up a tub or bucket with cold water and ice cubes, then dunk your body into it for 10 minutes. You can also try splashing cold water on your legs and arms if you don’t have access to a tub. The key is to stay calm while taking an ice bath — if you start shivering too much, it means that you’ve gone too far!
Ice baths have many benefits, but they also come with some risks. If you’re considering taking an ice bath, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.
Physical Therapy in American Fork, UT.
Contact your local physical therapist at Rx Rehab Physical Therapy and find out what other modalities such as dry needling, kinesio taping and joint mobilization could be used in your healing journey.
Rx Rehab Physical Therapy is a physical therapy clinic located in American Fork, UT. We are dedicated to helping you get back to your normal self! Our mission is to provide our patients with the highest quality care, pain relief and rehabilitation possible. We offer our patients individualized treatment plans based on their specific needs and goals.