COLD BATH TRAINING: A ‘HEALTHY’ morning therapy

Dear readers,

This time, I am covering a topic which not everybody might like: as per title above is the COLD BATH. Since March 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak started, most of sports facilities were closed down during the 1st wave and now again over the 2nd wave, there have been being poor chances to swim on any indoor pool. So a friend of mine and I thought we could try a cold bath as a morning therapy once per week at 7am.

Why cold bath?

Despite some contradictory visions of some scientists and researchers, it is scientifically proven that such a therapy can have four positive impacts as follow:

  1. Less muscle soreness
  2. Faster cooldown if you’re overheated
  3. May boost your immune system
  4. May ease symptoms of depression

To be fair, I am not that expert scientist to meaningfully comment all the four advantages, however, since I believe in the wellness latin philosophy of ‘Mens sana in corpore sano‘ I didn’t think twice to go for it, test those four advantages and finally share my experience here.

In order to accomplish this mission, a friend of mine and I identified a small lake called ‘Kuchajda‘ in the city where we live (Bratislava) which is easily reachable either by public transportation or by bicycle! Moreover, the lake itself is deemed to be safe from the bacteria. The first time we gave a try was in the end of March 2020, the water was rather cold like +8°C, being enthusiastic, the first time I immersed myself in the water and started swimming around straight away without even warming up my muscles, this approach didn’t work out: I got fatigued with breathing and I had to return to the edge.

Later, I figured out that all we need for a smooth achievement of the cold bath is to gradually immerse your body until the water hits your neck, once the water hits it then you can just relax by stretching your arms on the water for three minutes at least, also do not forget to breath slowly with your mouth to optimize your resistance, on the third minute you might realize that your body gets in temperature by having a calorific reaction to the cold water as well as your skin gets more and more reddish with goosebumps 🙂 At that point we could slowly start swimming as a free-style by properly coordinating each single movements of our arms and the feeling would likely be that we are swimming with good stamina.

The stamina may vary from individual to individual, so neither do overestimate your energies nor underestimate them, and for some human subjects the cold bath with swimming might not be suitable at all.

Here below I have embedded a recorded video of my recent cold bath session at Kuchajda city lake:

Cold bath session at Kuchajda city lake – Bratislava SK

Here below, I show you a freshly-taken picture about how reddish the skin colour of my feet was

In conclusion, If I were to provide with a feed-back to those four advantages, I would do as follows:

  1. Less muscle soreness: being an IT worker who works all the time sat on a desk with ergonomic chair, I can proudly say that the muscle soreness on shoulders, shoulder blades and backbones are drastically mitigated!
  2. Faster cooldown if you’re overheated: Yes, I feel like my body temperature is lowered after that and as a benefit I do not perceive much coldness in the outdoor environment after that 🙂
  3. May boost your immune system: Yes, I did notice that every time I practiced the cold bath by deeply breathing I never got a flu after that 🙂
  4. May ease symptoms of depression: to be fair, I am not that expert. However, I noticed on myself that makes me feel in a good mood during the morning time which is important, it could be an effective weapon against the anxiety!

Having said that, more cold bath sessions will follow during the coldest winter months, one of those is expected to happen at icy pond in the mountains, I will keep you posted about the outcomes! Meanwhile I encourage you to try to experience the same!

If you want to learn more about it, you can check out this meaningful reference: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-water-therapy#weight-loss

Other than that, I strongly recommend you to Do Your Own Research about cold/ice bath. Feel free to comment and share your own experience!

Giuseppe

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