The hot sauna cold plunge is one of the most popular cleansing techniques around- but did you know its benefits extend beyond just relieving muscle tension? The traditional method has been used for centuries by Nordic cultures like Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.
In its original form, these practices involved 20 minutes in an overheated room followed by a dip or shower to cool off. The goal is for the body to be fully relaxed after each bout of hot/cold exposure. The hot sauna cold plunge method is intense, and the mix of hot and cold has several health advantages known as the Nordic Cycle.
The benefits of a hot and cold water bath are not just limited to your skin. You can also enjoy the hot water and cold plunging technique for its calming effect, which helps release tension in the body by increasing circulation throughout it! Some individuals still employ this age-old method today, but it’s vital to understand its health benefits of it.
Is the Sauna Cold Plunge Routine Safe?
The Finns have been soaking in hot baths for centuries, but it’s not just about temperature. The practice is an extension of their culture’s tradition that dates back to 1000 AD and includes cold plunging therapy or hydrotherapy as well! Many research studies are showing how these therapies provide relief from various ailments- provided you follow safety guidelines so there aren’t any adverse side effects. The advantages of these procedures have been well established, although further study is always required.
Is it better to use the ice bath before or after the sauna?
The most frequent inquiry surrounding the hot and cold technique is this – when combining the sauna and ice baths, should you use them in either order? The simple answer is that it’s preferable to use the ice bath after the sauna.
Heat therapy makes us healthier by increasing our stress levels and raising the body’s adaptational responses. On the other hand, cold treatments slow cellular processes down which reduces inflammation in cells as well constricting blood vessels so that you can stay healthy!
As previously said, a sauna session is comparable to exercise. The result is that it increases our heart rate, causes the release of heat-shock proteins, and necessitates our body’s adaptation. Therefore, the best approach for our bodies to raise the tempo and bring it back down is by doing a sauna session before an ice bath.
Health Benefits of Cold plunges After a Hot Sauna Session
According to experts, heat and cold shock may be safely used together provided that you respect your body’s limits and don’t have significant preexisting cardiovascular or respiratory problems.
The physical and psychological benefits of the hot sauna cold plunge are immediate and apparent. Knowing what they are will help you in acclimating to such a potent combination and getting the most out of your sauna bath and cold plunges. Here are a few health benefits of this powerful combination:
#1. It Boosts the Immune System
outdoor saunas bath and a cold water plunge technique can help you build up your immune system. It will increase lymphatic circulation, which is a network in our body that aids in the removal of germs, bacteria, and other body waste in an effective manner!
The sauna cold plunge routine is a great way to flush out the waste for your body’s immune system to operate at its best. The cold water plunge will cause a tightening in your lymph vessel, allowing for faster removal of waste and boosting the white blood cell’s resistance to pollutants. This body activity will help you feel refreshed after working hard inside and outside of the sauna, so go ahead!
#2. It Has a Detoxifying Power
Hot and cold plunges are a great way to help your lymphatic system work more efficiently. This method has a way of triggering lymphatic circulation. The combination of the hot sauna bath and cold immersion also helps flush out any waste from the body, which will have an overall detoxifying effect on your body system!
#3. Improves Blood Circulation
When you enter the sauna, your body is in a hot environment. However, when that quickly changes to a cold environment, the shock of this change causes blood vessels throughout our entire bodies to constrict and reduce circulation – this further elevates blood pressure levels inside! While undergoing such intense shocks might not seem too appealing at first, it can be highly beneficial to the body system.
The blood concentration is close to the skin during a sauna session. The vital organs, such as the heart, will work slowly as a result of this. As a result, the cold plunge will rapidly transport blood to the vital organs and ensure that they operate properly as soon as possible. It will also enhance oxygen delivery throughout the body.
#4. Burns Fat and Helps You Lose Weight
Combining the hot and cold technique from cold plunging and sauna sessions respectively speeds up the burning of fat in the body and increase weight loss. Coldwater exposure in an ice bath is a great way to keep you warm because it also activates brown adipose tissue. This tissue helps your body burn fat for energy so that it can stay comfortable in that cold water dip.
Infrared radiation, on the other hand, stimulates your heart rate and metabolic rate in the same manner as a mild to moderate cardio workout would, allowing you to burn more calories. When you combine both therapies, you have the ideal tool for assisting your weight loss efforts altogether.
Note that cold plunging and sauna bathing, on their own, are not sufficient to cure or prevent any illnesses. You must combine them with a healthy diet for humans, enough good sleep, as well as appropriate stress management.
#5. The Perfect Stress Relief
It sounds like a strange and uncommon way to spend time, but if you ever find yourself in need of some relaxation then there’s no better place than the sauna. You may not realize it now, but sitting around inside one with hot air all around will make your mind wander off, totally relieving you of stress!
One of the reasons why sauna bathing is so soothing is that it generates a large release of endorphins, including beta-endorphin, a neurotransmitter that improves your mood, energy, sense of calm, and pain tolerance.
Cold plunge, on the other hand, is generally not pleasurable since it stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, producing a fight or flight response. Cold therapy, nevertheless, teaches you to regulate your breathing, which reduces your sympathetic nervous system activity. This is a crucial component of stress alleviation.
Exposure to ice water might help you master this skill in difficult situations so that you may maintain your composure and manage your stress reaction. A powerful way to positively impact how you perceive stress, in general, is to use both active relaxations in the sauna and improved breathing skills (derived from the cold showers or plunges) to manage stressful circumstances.
#6. Reduces the Discomfort Post-Work of Soreness
With all of the sweating, it’s common for skin and muscle soreness to set in during outdoor saunas bath sessions. This happens just like after an intense workout, where your body has been pushed past its limits. The muscle soreness generally lasts around 24 to 72 hours after a spa session.
The cold plunge will therefore help to alleviate discomfort immediately after a session. Warm water is more commonly believed to be superior to cold water when it comes to pain relief. While this may have a grain of truth, cold water has the same powerful effect as warm water in relieving pain.
#7. Rejuvenates Skin
The hot sauna and cold plunge improve blood flow and, as a result, skin health. The skin will be youthful and radiant if the circulation is good. Furthermore, the fast closure of pores from the heated room into the cold water will prevent germs from infecting your skin while also preventing you from developing skin conditions. The cold shower enthusiasts maintain that the cool shower after a hot sauna bath influences skin health!
#8. Helps With Inflammation Related Ailments
For example, it is common for people to use the sauna to cure their arthritis difficulties. It’s because the sauna session allows for more fluid to enter the joints. However, inflammation may rear its ugly head the next day after some sauna sessions, especially if it had been an intense session.
Individuals who experience this pain may be experiencing it in their joints or bones. In this situation, a cold plunge will be the most effective treatment for your suffering. These ice baths can help to decrease inflammation with improved blood flow and pain in no time!
#9. Enhancing Pleasure
Coldwater gives you a rush of norepinephrine, and this is how it enhances pleasure after a hot sauna bath! Norepinephrine is a chemical in the body that serves as both a stress hormone and a neurotransmitter. It affects mood, anxiety, and other processes.
Norepinephrine also supports wakeful rest and can help you focus and concentrate. It can also help with mood disorders such as depression, aspects of bipolar disorder, and anxiety problems. The heat and cold treatment causes increased blood flow, raises the heart rate, and adrenaline, and boosts the production of endorphins. This has been shown to reduce pain and raise morale.
Tell me the duration of cold showers and cold plunges?
After a sauna, cold plunges are an excellent method to cool down. You should not stay in a cold plunge for more than 10 or 20 seconds, or the chilly water will take away too much heat from your body.
If you want to immerse yourself entirely in the cold plunge, do so after washing for hygienic reasons. Your body will relax considerably after cooling down. Blood flow is redirected inward as your skin and subcutaneous tissue blood vessels tighten, bringing a greater volume of blood to inner organs such as your kidneys.
Ideally, your whole body should be immersed in this water. In the cold plunge, the rerouting of blood to inner organs can be quite significant. So don’t cool down in this way if you have high blood pressure because you don’t want to increase your blood pressure any higher.
Instead, take it easy on your blood vessels by showering with a cold spray of water. You can start by aiming the hose or showerhead at your extremities, then work your way toward the center of your body.
How Cold Does The Plunge Need To Be?
For some people, getting the coldest possible plunge without freezing is their usual practice. However, it has been discovered that a mild chill can do more than just activate your central nervous system-it helps improve cognitive function! Extreme temperatures or lengthy durations aren’t necessary for this effect, however.
Brown fat is activated by lowering skin temperatures, which isn’t hard! The minimum temperature required to activate brown fat and generate inner heat is 19 degrees Celsius (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
Spend 15 minutes in a 125°F sauna and 30 seconds in an ice bath for the cold plunge method. Repeat this process three times. So, if you’re feeling chilly and can withstand it for a while, you’ll probably get some brown fat and heat shock proteins generated.
Why It’s always important to be cautious with the hot sauna cold plunger
Naturally, the hot and cold technique is not suitable for everyone. It’s not suggested for people who have high blood pressure or are prone to it, for example.
The extreme temperature change might be overwhelming for the body system in these circumstances. It is also advised that pregnant women should avoid it. When it comes to the cold plunge, experts advise a brief momentary plunge after sauna use. A lengthier plunge will draw much heat away from the body and be hazardous. In summary, the hot and cold technique should be discussed with a doctor, especially if you have serious health concerns.