Take the plunge
Take the plunge

Take the plunge

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Fitness, Wellness

Have you heard of cold plunges? It’s just what it sounds like – jumping into icy water (anywhere from 39 to 59 degrees). It’s another, more intense form of cold therapy.  


According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and sensitivity to pain. When you have a sprained ankle, you typically apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation. A cold plunge is like covering your entire body with an ice pack. It’s not just for professional athletes and celebrities. Many people are starting to take the plunge at home. 


There are many reported benefits to bathing in icy water. In a 2020 study, people who swam in cold water had higher wellbeing and health than those who did not.  


Other reported benefits of cold plunging include: 

  • Reduced stress and anxiety 

  • Improved mood 

  • Boosted immune system 

  • Increased circulation 


With both physical and mental advantages, you may be tempted to dip your toe in. While you can invest in a pool specifically for plunging, your bathtub works the same. There are some risks associated with cold plunging, so definitely have a conversation with your doctor before you take the plunge.  


Tips for cold plunging: 

  • Get your doctor’s approval 

  • Start slow and gradually add more time 

  • Have someone with you 

  • Warm up slowly so you don’t shock your system 

If you are still hesitant to jump in, you can start with cold showers. Taking a cold shower has many of the same benefits.  



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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.