When was the last time you did something, for the first time? All of us search for those moments of our life. It can be something as simple as running 2 miles straight or a more complex goal, like biking 500 miles. Everyone has their own idea of what sensation scratches that itch. We are often told by many that after completing their first Tough Mudder, Arctic Enema provides an unexpected feeling of physical and mental accomplishment.
We hear this response so often that we had to dig into cold water and the role it plays in fitness. Believe it or not, it has a tradition that extends across the globe. Starting as far back as the 1920s, the Polar Plunge – or Polar Bear Swims/Dips has been a fun challenge during the turn of seasons (and even in the dead of winter).
With the weather improving, you might be tempted to do a cold water plunge, yourself. Studies have shown a cold water plunge activates the body’s natural healing powers that can promote a sense of health and well-being.
Careful Mudders, we know you like spontaneity, so before you decide to jump in head first, here are important facts you should know:
1. Ensure you have a spotter on the shore always keeping an eye on you. They should have a reaching or throwing assist and a cell phone in case of an emergency.
2. It is especially important that you do not stay in the water longer than two minutes.
3. It should never be something you throw together with your drinking buddies and should ALWAYS be done while sober. Alcohol also interferes with your body’s natural responses to cold water. Save the finisher beer for afterwards.
Immersing yourself in cold water has some distinct health benefits, as a growing number of health experts, athletes, and trainers will happily confirm. So where do cold showers fit in comparison to taking the plunge?
Additional studies have suggested that a daily cold water plunge could, over a period of weeks or months, boost your immunity. So, this is where cold showers have numerous benefits. Cold showers help build the will-power we all desire to stay sharp in our daily lives. Taking cold showers benefits mental alertness and it’s an excellent way to get an edge on your day.
The Bottom line
Cold water therapy — whether it is a quick swim in icy surf, a post-workout ice bath, or a brisk shower — can benefit your health in several ways.
It may help you:
- cut down on muscle soreness
- cool down after a sweaty workout
- get into a better mood
- aid your immune system
- boost your metabolism
If you are looking for a way to feel happy, alert, and rejuvenated, then hop in the cold shower or take that plunge. If taking that cold water plunge is your next adventure, it will be exhilarating, something you will remember forever, and a sure sign you can handle at least one obstacle on the Tough Mudder course.