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  • Utilizing the Healing Power of an Ice Bath

    Taking an ice bath might sound like a terrible idea, but it can actually be an excellent way to help the body recover after a long period of strenuous activity, such as a day of exhausting manual labor or a couple of hours at the gym.

    Why Take Cold Baths?

    No one enjoys bathing in cold water. Most people take hot or warm baths to relax and enjoy themselves, using bubbles, oils and soaps to enhance the soothing experience. Shivering in an icy tub would go completely against most peoples' ideas of a healthy experience. Icy baths are not for everyone � they are best suited for people whose bodies need a little help recovering from the problems that can arise from a tough day of work.

    How to Make an Effective Ice Bath

    There is no exact formula for creating the perfect icy soak, but in general the temperature of the water should be around 50 to 59 degrees. Fill up the bathtub with only cold water until it would reach your waist. At this point, add at least two or three trays of ice until the water reaches the required chill. You can check the water temperature with a thermometer. The benefits can be most easily soaked up by remaining in the bathtub for a length of ten to twenty minutes. Luckily, there are ways to make the process much more bearable over time.

    Learning to Handle the Chill

    Many who have heard about the benefits of this treatment never make it past their first icy soak because the cold is so unbearable. However, by taking some precautions and preparatory steps, it is possible to not only get used to the cold shock, but come to regard it as just a matter of course with enough time. It is helpful to ensure that the upper body stays warm while the lower body is soaking. Additionally, consider having with your some entertaining reading material to pass the time.

    Cautions and Considerations of Icy Baths

    Icy baths are only recommended for those who wish to help their bodies recover after a strenuous period of exercise, so it is not advised to go for a chilly soak under many other circumstances. Be sure to get into the bathtub slowly to allow the body to get acclimated to the cold. If you start feeling numb, it is best to end the bath. Be careful not to stay in longer than the suggested duration or to put too much ice into the water, to avoid hypothermia and other cold-related health risks. The cold water can easily make muscles feel stiff and clumsy, so try taking a warm shower no sooner than an hour later so as not to negate the cold bath's effects.

    When it comes to deep tissue repair, the effects of an ice bath should never be underestimated. Just try it once to see if it can improve your recovery time the next time you workout or have a hard day of labor.