Ice bath is a very common way of relaxing especially for athletes. It is a way to cool down your body. Post heavy workouts and vigorous training sessions, one’s body need to heal. This is the reason that sportspersons and athletes sit in a bath of ice, it quickens the healing process.
When the body is exposed to cold water or ice, it helps the body to recover from the small muscle tears that occur during workouts and training.
But by no means does this imply that one can just jump into a pool of ice.
There are a few things you should know about ice baths before taking one:
#1. At the beginning of your ice bath be conservative about the temperature of the water. A specialist would recommend the water temperature to be between 4 to 10 degrees celsius. It is always better to start off with a slightly higher temperature and then graduate to a lower one.
#2. Do not stay in the ice bath for longer then what is recommended especially if you are not used to it. The maximum number of time that is said to be okay to stay in the ice bath is about 6-8 minutes. Do not overdo that by trying to stay longer.
#3. A lot of players/ athletes tend to think, the colder the better. This isn’t exactly true. There is a certain temperature that if the body is exposed to is okay. Beyond that exposing the body to colder temperature could be harmful.
#4. After going for an ice bath, do not take a warm shower immediately. To keep warm after an ice bath considers wrapping yourself with a thick towel or wearing a sweater. As the body comes back to normal temperature it is advisable to take a warm shower.
#5. Do not be completely dependent on the ice bath to make your soreness go away. Always remember that doing this will help you relax and help your body to heal, but it is not a cure for soreness. It will help in reducing swelling and muscle breakdown.
#6. It is good to consider taking an ice bath instead of just applying ice to one localised area. Submerging your entire body in ice can prove to be better.
#7. Do not jump into using ice baths often. First experiment. See how your body reacts and how it suits you before deciding anything. Just before important matches or tournaments do not try this experiment. It is better to try this when you have time to figure out whether this works for you or not.
#8. Taking an ice bath can decrease the effects created on us by heat and even humidity.
Follow these tips properly and make an informed decision as to whether ice baths are for you or not.
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