The viral routine of cold plunging and sauna sessions has recently been taking over the internet. But why? Although sitting in a relaxing, warm sauna sounds great, jumping into a freezing, cold bath sounds less than ideal. Yet, so many people are doing it. Let's talk about why.
Surprisingly, cold plunging and saunas are not a new thing. In fact, they have been a popular practice for centuries, and with good reason. Both offer a range of health benefits that can improve overall wellness and quality of life.
What is Cold Plunging?
Cold plunging, also known as cold water immersion or cold water therapy, involves immersing the body in cold water for a short period of time. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as jumping into a cold lake or river, taking a cold shower, or using a cold plunge pool.
How do I Cold Plunge?
Most sources say that to receive the benefits, cold plunging should take place in water that is around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit for around 3-5 minutes several times a week. Every person is different, however, so listen to your body and do not push beyond your limitations. Some people like to cold plunge for only a minute when starting, and others like to push for over 10 minutes. Again, it is totally up to you and what you feel is best.
What are the Benefits of Cold Plunging?
One of the primary benefits of cold plunging is that it can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to several health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Cold water immersion has been shown to reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels and decreasing blood flow to the affected area.
In addition to reducing inflammation, cold plunging can also improve circulation and boost the immune system. Cold water stimulates the production of white blood cells, which help to defend the body against illness and disease. Cold plunging can also improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow and oxygenation to the heart and other organs.
Cold plunging not only has physical benefits, but emotional benefits as well. Some studies show that cold plunging can aid mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Using cold therapy lowers your stress hormones and helps you to relax. Studies show that cold plunging is a means to help with mental health and mood and even lowers anxiety due to its holistic nature. Cold water is also known to help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a side effect of depression, meaning that cold therapy can help reduce its effects.
What is a Sauna Session?
Sauna sessions, on the other hand, involve sitting or lying in a heated room or enclosure, typically made of wood, for a period of time. Saunas are commonly found in gyms and spas, but they can also be installed in homes.
How do I Sauna?
Most sources recommend staying in a sauna for about 15-20 minutes at a time several times a week. if you are just getting started, it’s ok to do less than that. Saunas are usually available at local gyms and spas. Sauna rooms are special because they reach high temperatures of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit which you can’t get while tanning in the hot sun.
What are the Benefits of Sauna Sessions?
Like cold plunging, saunas have several health benefits. One of the most well-known benefits is that it can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. The heat and humidity of the sauna can help to relax the muscles and mind, making it a great way to unwind after a long day or week.
In addition to reducing stress, saunas can also improve cardiovascular health. The heat of the sauna can increase heart rate and dilate blood vessels, which can help to improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Saunas have also been shown to improve respiratory function by helping to clear the airways and reduce congestion.
Another benefit of saunas is that they can help to improve skin health. The heat and humidity of the sauna can help to open pores and sweat out impurities, leaving the skin feeling clean and refreshed. Saunas can also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite by improving circulation and increasing blood flow to the skin.
Sauna use has also been proven to help mental health. Exposure to heat causes a greater release of euphoric hormones, which causes us to be happier and more relaxed. Saunas also help to improve your mood and well-being. When you are in a warm closed-off room, you tend to worry less about the problems of the world and can focus on how you are feeling right in that moment.
What are the Benefits of Both Cold Plunging and Sauna Sessions?
We’ve talked about the benefits of cold plunging and sauna sessions on their own, but what about together? Mimicking contrast therapy, the use of these practices can result in benefits such as better blood circulation, healing of soreness, and alleviation of pain.
Contrast therapy is basically going from hot to cold water in order to heal a certain part of your body. When you go from relaxing in the sauna to dipping into a cold tub, your blood vessels will tighten and expand depending on the temperature, causing them to pump. This pumping increases circulation in your body.
How Do I Cycle Cold Plunging and Sauna Sessions?
There are several ways to do a cold plunge and sauna cycle. Most sources say that you should first sauna for 15-20 minutes and then cold plunge for 2-5 minutes. You can do each one once or repeat that cycle 2-3 times. Doing this cycle several times a week is a one-way street to so many benefits for your body and mind.
Overall, cold plunging and saunas offer a range of health benefits that can improve overall wellness and quality of life. Whether you're looking to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, boost your immune system, or simply relax and unwind, cold plunging and sauna sessions can be excellent additions to your wellness routine. So grab a towel and a warm cup of Orangic Sunrise Blend and embark on your hot and cold journey!