What’s cooler than being cool? ICE COLD! CrossFit Health has partnered with Ice Barrel and Penguin Chillers for a cold-therapy challenge this February. Cold-water therapy has been catching a lot of attention lately with claims that it can increase metabolism, build resiliency, and improve energy, focus, mood, and recovery. So we’re going to put it to the test. Starting Feb. 1, members of the CrossFit Health team will be taking the plunge on a regular basis for the entire month — and we want you to jump in with us.
- The water should be 60 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
- Accumulate 12-15 minutes per week for four weeks.
- Determine your purpose and track your results.
- Follow along from home and tag CrossFit Health on Instagram with your experience and results.
If you don’t have a cold-therapy unit, you can always jump in a cold shower, lake, ocean, or pool. You can also check out the generous offers our partners have provided the CrossFit community.
Some tips from our partners:
“Focus on your breathing before and during your ice bath. This is an important step in activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale out slowly. We like to practice a breathing technique used by the Navy SEALs called ‘box breathing’ before entering the barrel. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale out for four seconds, and hold again for four seconds. Repeat this three times before you get in the Ice Barrel and it will be much easier to control your breath during your ice bath. *Pro tip: Fully exhale your lungs as you are first entering the water, this will allow you to take a deeper breath once you’re fully submerged.
“Submerge your entire body up to your neck. Exposing the neck and thyroid gland to cold is important in regulating your body temperature and will help your body better adapt to the cold. This also creates a more dramatic hormonal response, ensuring you get the most health benefits for your body.
“We recommend staying fully-submerged in the ice bath for two to 10 minutes, depending on how your body responds to the cold. For those just starting out, try shorter dips and build up to longer ones as you get more comfortable. As always, listen to your body and don’t push past what you’re comfortable with. It’s better to build resistance slowly over time.
“The more you expose yourself to cold temperatures, the more you’ll need to increase the stimulus (like weight training in the gym). Here are a few ways to do this, so you can continue to maximize the health benefits you receive from your ice baths:
- Increase body movement in the ice bath (move your arms and legs to break the thermal layer or briefly dunk your head underwater).
- Increase the amount of time in the ice bath (two to 10 minutes is recommended, but listen to your body for what feels tolerable).
- Decrease the water temperature (safely).”
Mark you calendars and get ready to take the plunge!