After years of reading and watching athletes taking ice baths, it’s no surprise for you to feel a little curious about it now and again. However, if you feel a bit intimidated to try it, don’t fret, you aren’t the only one. Sitting in a tub of freezing water and ice does seem daunting, but the benefits could be very much worth it. In this awesome guide to surviving your first ice bath experience, we’ll provide many tips that will help you. From the physical and mental benefits to tips for making the experience more comfortable, we got you covered.

Warm up before cooling down

Before you step foot into some freezing water, consider warming up your body first. You don’t have to do any intense workout if that’s not on the schedule, however, a light exercise or some stretches can do the trick. You can even take a warm shower if that’s easier. If you warm up before the ice bath you can help your blood flow increase to your muscles and joints.

Decrease temperature bit by bit

Getting into an ice bath that’s freezing cold from the jump as a beginner is not the best idea. Doing this can potentially put your body into shock, which is very dangerous. Instead of doing that, get into the bath at a cold temperature, not freezing, and gradually add in more ice to your ice bath. The temperature of the water will get colder while you are in the tub, allowing your body to adjust better to the cold. 

Don’t sit still

When you think of a bath you think of warm water, relaxation, nice smells, and most important of all, no movement. Ice baths challenge this notion as it goes against all of these ideas. When you are in the ice bath, resist the urge to sit still and instead move around. Doing some light exercises in the ice bath can go a long way. The danger of sitting still in this type of bath is regarding your muscles. If you keep still in that freezing water your muscles can get stiff.

Focus on breathing

Coming into contact with freezing water is no relaxing situation. One of the first things that happens is irregular breathing. This is a normal occurrence, for breathing to be rapid and shallow when getting into an ice bath at first, no matter how many times you do it. Though, to reduce your stress and calm your nervous system down, you need to focus on your breathing. Take slow and deep breaths and before you know it your breathing will be more regulated.

Ice tubs

Once you are a pro at taking ice baths, you will want to invest in a tub dedicated specifically to these types of baths. Once that is the case, check out Soon enough, taking an ice bath will provide you with many benefits and it won’t be as uncomfortable for you as your first time was.