While the past few months have been anything but ordinary, it seems like the world is going back to normal again. Well, at least in some parts of the world. The MTV Video Music Awards 2020 happened in New York and Lady Gaga performed her hit song ‘Rain On Me’. But that’s not what we want to talk about!
Gaga always knows how to shock us- remember that infamous meat dress at the 2010 VMAs? This time around, it’s not her outfit that got our attention but her wellness routine. The singer shared a behind the scenes shot, where she showed us how she relaxes her muscles after an exhausting day of rehearsal and we’re not exaggerating when we say that it sent shivers down our spine!
In the image, the singer’s entire body, excluding her head was submerged in ice while she rocked a face mask but unlike her peculiar fashion choice, the ice bath routine is actually not a new concept. It’s been around for years, but it has become 2020’s most loved wellness regimen.
The ice bath therapy has been popular amongst athletes for ages, but now the whole world is catching on to it. So why are people opting for this chilling experience? Also known as cold-water immersion (CWI) or cryotherapy, this routine is all about submerging yourself in ice or very cold water for about 15 minutes to ease sore muscles and reduce any muscle pain.
The routine is said to do wonders for your body, especially after a rigorous workout. This unique form of therapy is also said to have an effect on your mental state. When you put yourself in a situation of controlled uneasiness and subject the mind and body to small stressors, it can help you become stronger and more resilient. While ice bath therapy has become popular, this wellness method has also gained a lot of criticisms due to the lack of research.
Before you take the plunge, make sure that you’re well informed about this cold wellness routine. Keep on reading to know the potential benefits and drawbacks of ice baths.
This one is a no-brainer. Most of us have used cold packs on certain parts of the body to reduce swelling. Now, imagine what a whole tub of ice can do for the entire body. The ice makes your blood vessels contract which helps bring down swelling or inflammation, reduces pain, and helps the body heal faster.
When it comes to your mental state, this therapy is said to affect the central nervous system as well as help you get a good night’s rest. Making you feeling well-rested and not having to wake up to sore muscles- no wonder the ice bath routine is gaining popularity.
We all know the feeling after our very first workout— the pain, the sore muscles and the sensation of not being able to get out of bed the next day. For those who work their muscles daily, whether it’s through sports, dancing, or rigorous a workout, this problem is all too real and occurs daily. Ice bath therapy is said to reduce delayed muscle soreness or pain after intense physical activity, provide relief to burning muscles, and even eliminate any other uncomfortable body or muscle issues that happen post-workout.
There has been a lot of controversy behind this benefit, but many pro athletes still practice it. An ice bath is used to reduce the body’s core temperature while staying in locations where there is an increase in climate temperature or humidity. Taking an ice bath prior in such situations is said to improve performance and muscle strength.
Staying for more than 15 minutes in a tub full of ice can lower your body’s temperature and cause hyperthermia. For some, even 15 minutes might be a bit too much for their body to handle. So, while doing the ice bath therapy, if your body starts to change colours, even before the 15 minutes are up, it’s time to stop and get out.
Since the ice bath therapy slows down blood circulation, it can be problematic for those with preexisting cardiovascular issues or high blood pressure. For such people, constricting blood vessels in the entire body can cause serious health problem and in worst cases, a stroke.
After going through the pros and cons, those who still want to give ice bath therapy a shot, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Under no circumstances should you do the ice bath therapy alone. Always have someone to supervise you whenever you decide to take the plunge.
- Don’t go over the time limit. 15 minutes is good enough! Prolonging this routine can have serious effects on your health and body.
- Don’t go in naked. It’s always beneficial to wear a thin piece of clothing to protect the sensitive parts of your body.
- If you’re a newbie to this, first, start by immersing only the bottom half of the body. Once your body becomes used to it, then go ahead and submerge the rest of your body. Do NOT immerse your head in the cold water.
From pro athletes to famous singers like Lady Gaga, ice baths have become a popular form of wellness therapy, but before you try it, make sure you’ve done your full research.
Featured Image: Pexels