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All the rage in the health and fitness industry is mixing both cold and heat therapy to help boost our body’s performance. Whether we just enjoy the mental workouts that both have to offer or if you are a professional athlete, the benefits of having a cold immersion and heat therapy routine are boundless for recovery times and overall health support. In this article, we will be breaking down the benefits of using a sauna and cold plunge!
BENEFITS OF SAUNA AND COLD PLUNGE
Improves Blood Circulation
Cold plunging increases circulation in the body by forcing blood out of the extremities towards the core organs. This increased circulation can help improve muscle recovery, reduce inflammation and improve overall athletic performance. Saunas also increase circulation by dilating blood vessels and promoting sweat production.
Boosts Your Mood
Here is how to boost your mood with your Cold Plunge routine:
1. Get Ready: Before you take the plunge, make sure you have everything you need to make it comfortable and safe. Wear a swimsuit or other appropriate clothing and prepare towels, warm clothes, and anything else that will help you transition after the immersion.
2. Prepare your Mind: Take a few moments to relax your mind and body before taking the plunge. Practice deep breathing exercises and use calming visualizations to focus on the positive effects of Cold Plunging.
3. Take the Plunge: When you’re ready, step into the water slowly and adjust to its temperature with controlled breaths. Make sure you are completely submerged in the cold water for at least 30 seconds before coming out. You may want to repeat this process several times if needed until your body adjusts to the temperature.
4. Reap the Benefits: Cold Plunging can help relax tense muscles, reduce stress levels, improve circulation, boost your immunity, and even aid in weight loss! The Endorphins released from Cold Plunging also help to improve mood and alleviate depression symptoms over time.
Here ARE the mood-boosting benefits that you can do during a hot Sauna session:
1. Spend time in the sauna. Taking the time to sit in a sauna can help quiet the mind and relax your body. Just 10-15 minutes can be enough to achieve a sense of calm and lift your spirits.
2. Listen to music or read a book. Many people find listening to music or reading a book while in the sauna to be soothing and restful. Pick something that is calming and enjoyable, such as classical music or an audiobook, so it will help you get into the right frame of mind for relaxation.
3. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session. It’s important to stay hydrated while using a sauna, as you will be sweating more than usual. This helps promote detoxification which can improve mood and energy levels.
4. Breathe deeply and focus on positive thoughts while in the sauna. Focusing on positive thoughts can help reduce stress levels and promote feelings of contentment and happiness. Deep breathing also helps your brain relax, which can make you feel more at peace with yourself and life in general.
5. Use aromatherapy oils or scents. During your sauna session for further relaxation you can add aromatherapy oils or scents. Certain scents, such as Lavender and Chamomile, have been known to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Adding them to your Sauna session can help you reach a deeper state of relaxation.
The Science and Benefits of Contrast Therapy
Saunas and Cold Plunge benefit Thermal regulation and is an energy-intensive process in which your body processes heat and will reduce stress levels. Saunas or hot dips are good ways to incorporate heat regulation into your routine. If your body alternates between hot and cold, your muscles will improve the control of temperatures during physical activities. Cold exposure or ice baths can help in recovery, cardiovascular health, and mental stability.
Practicing Water Therapy combined with a hot Sauna or Steam Room will increase the capacity of the body to regulate heat, circulate and improve mental toughness. You will see so many benefits from these extreme temperatures that you can easily become one of the many Cold Plunging enthusiasts who love cold therapy, a nice ice bath which are all forms of a Cold Plunging Technique
Is it Best to Sauna before Cold Plunge?
Yes, it is generally recommended to use a sauna before taking a Cold plunge. The combination of the two temperatures can help with muscle recovery and provide some health benefits. Cold therapy and heat therapy has been known to help boost blood flow and improve overall recovery times after tough workouts.
How Often Should You Sauna and Cold Plunge?
The frequency of sauna and Cold Plunge sessions will depend on your individual goals and needs. Generally, it is recommended that you incorporate saunas and Cold Plunges as part of a balanced health routine two to three times per week. If you are recovering from an injury or illness, it may be beneficial to do more frequent sessions. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new wellness routine.
Mental Health Benefits of Having a Sauna and Cold Plunging Routine
The benefits to your Mental Health of having a Sauna and Cold Plunging Routine are the following:
1. Improved Mood:
Regular sauna use can boost your mood and reduce stress levels due to its calming effects. The heat of the sauna helps to relax the body, soothe tense muscles and improve circulation which in turn triggers the release of endorphins that reduce stress and promote feelings of tranquillity.
2. Reduced Anxiety:
Cold plunging stimulates the release of Norepinephrine, a hormone that has been shown to have anti-anxiety properties, leading to improved mental states.
3. Improved Sleep Quality:
As well as helping you relax both physically and mentally, regular sauna and Cold Plunging sessions can also help you sleep better at night due to the increased levels of Endorphins released throughout the process, resulting in improved sleeping habits.
4. Improved Cognitive Function:
Studies have found that regular sauna use leads to improved cognitive function due to it being an effective way of reducing stress, improving relaxation and boosting blood flow which helps carry more oxygen to your brain cells – all beneficial factors for our mental health.
5. Increased Mental Clarity & Focus:
Regular cold plunges can help improve mental clarity and focus as they flood your body with oxygen-rich blood while reducing anxiety and improving relaxation. This can help clear your mind, allowing you to focus on tasks more efficiently.
Overall, a regular sauna and Cold plunge routine can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health as they help reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, boost cognitive function, and increase mental clarity and focus.