If you love taking a cold shower after working out, why not kick things up a notch with an ice bath? Ice baths are becoming increasingly popular in the fitness world to help relieve inflammation and muscle pain after a workout. Famous athletes and even regular people swear that immersing their bodies in icy cold water for 10-15 minutes after working out helps speed up their recovery and improves their overall fitness. But how does it work?
Soaking in an ice bath isn’t easy. Most first-time users report intense feelings of pain and coldness that start to subside after 5-10 minutes. But many ice bath users say that once you get used to the bone-chilling cold and begin to relax, it can be a very enjoyable experience. Eventually, you begin to build up a tolerance for the practice, and you can endure longer and more frequent ice bath sessions.
So how does an ice bath help your body? Let’s break it down. When you sit in an ice bath, the cold constricts your blood vessels, so the blood doesn’t flow as quickly throughout your body. This slowing down effect helps reduce inflammation and helps your body better process metabolic waste when you get out of the cold water, and your blood vessels begin to dilate again. This effect helps your body recover after straining your muscles and blood vessels during exercise.
Another benefit of ice baths is that they help your body flush fluids out of your lymph nodes better. Unlike your blood vessels, there are no valves or pumps in your nodes to push the stagnant liquid out. So the dilatation process that occurs as part of the ice bath process speeds things up in your body. The easier fluids flow throughout your body, the better you will feel. Your lymph nodes and blood vessels both benefit from the increased blood flow after sitting in an ice bath.
Ice baths also help with muscle pain and soreness by reducing inflammation and numbing the pain. Many athletes enjoy ice baths because they feel less sore after an intense workout. Ice baths may provide some temporary relief for people struggling with vein health symptoms like leg pain, swelling, or feelings of heaviness.
Taking a dip in some icy cold water after a hard workout isn’t for everyone, but there are some benefits. For example, if you have varicose or spider vein issues that cause leg pain or swelling after exercise, an icy cold soak might help! But the best relief is still to come into our clinic for a consultation for treatment. The earlier you seek treatment for your vein health issues, the easier it will be to prevent problems further down the road. We promise you’ll receive a warm reception from our team!