For Scandinavians, ice bathing means swimming in a hole somewhere on a lake. we don't need anything like that because our local lakes basically encourage us to jump in to get an immune booster. Regular bathing in ice-cold water not only improves our immune system, but also stimulates our circulation, accelerates muscle regeneration, helps with weight loss, ensures better sleep and makes us stronger. Another positive effect is that bathing in cold water promotes cell renewal and therefore the skin looks younger and firmer. Furthermore swimming in the lake is very cold, but cannot be compared with the real ice bathing in the north. But the effect is still the same.
Some facts you should know according to Wim Hof, the Dutch extreme athlete and ice bathing pioneer:
1. What is the effect of ice bathing?
If you regularly expose yourself to cold water, the body learns to process this stimulus better and better, which has a positive effect on the body. The immune system is strengthened, stress is reduced, the circulation is trained and it makes us less sensitive to cold. It also helps you lose weight and ensures better sleep. Ice bathing in the morning or taking a cold shower for at least 3 minutes releases lots of happiness hormones and endorphins. Ice bathing in the evening allows you to relax and sleep well. The best results are reported when you take an ice bath at least twice a week, as this trains the body best.
2. This is how the correct breathing technique works
Breathe in and out deeply thirty to forty times without pausing. Then hold your breath for a minute. Repeat the exercise twice. As soon as you have your breath under control, you can get into the water. Just pay attention to your breathing and concentrate on it. Keep breathing calmly and don't fall into gasping. You'll see that once you're in the water, it's not so bad anymore, but at the beginning you should only put yourself in the cold water for a short time and then immediately get out again. Then dry off, put on gloves, socks and cozy clothes and warm up with a cup of tea. You will see that you feel reborn.
3. When is ice bathing dangerous?
Ice bathing is not suitable for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor, because if you suffer from circulatory problems or high blood pressure, an ice bath is not recommended.
According to a Dutch study, those test subjects who took a cold shower for at least 30 seconds after a warm shower had 29 percent fewer sick days than those who only took a warm shower.
book recommendation: The Wim Hof Method