We all hear about how important ice baths are for athletes. In fact, every movie that shows competitive athletes always includes an ice bath scene. It’s easy to combine the notions of intense athletic training with ice baths due to the constant imagery.
But what does an ice bath actually do to your body?
Just because you hear it is good for your body doesn’t mean you know exactly what it does. That is why we are going to explain what these baths do for you and why you should never skip it, no matter how horrible the experience may be.
You Become Mentally Stronger
If you have ever swum in cold water or went outside while it was snowing, you know that dealing with the cold can be unbearable. However, with winter coats and movement, you can usually warm yourself up.
But what do you do if you are stuck sitting in a tub full of ice water?
In this situation, you only have two options, you sit in the water and accept the fact that it’s freezing or you get out. By forcing yourself to stay in an almost painful situation, you are taking control of your mind.
This mental strength follows you everywhere, especially while your running a marathon and feel like you might give up, but you don’t. Ice bath benefits don’t always just include the physical aspect, it also benefits the mental one too.
Reduced Muscle Soreness
After a workout, your muscles will begin to feel sore due to microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Inflammation and pain may also occur depending on the level of training you have completed.
When you partake in cold-water immersion you are suppressing inflammation and tissue damage. Ice baths also act as an anesthetic to slow down pain. In fact, muscle soreness reduced by 20% as opposed to individuals who do not take ice baths.
Ice baths help you feel better quicker, which is great if you have multiple days of intense activity.
Increased Speed of Recovery
The reason your body increases its recovery time after an ice bath is due to the reduction of blood flow and inflammation.
Because everything in your legs is being slowed down, the effects of excessive running don’t happen as quickly, therefore, the body has time to heal the small amount of fiber damage you received. This cold-water immersion is especially beneficial for endurance training because it brings the core body temperature down quickly.
Ice baths are great for individuals who want a quicker recovery time, especially during competitions. This is especially helpful for individuals who compete in triathlons.
Ice Bath Overview
Since marathon runners partake in endurance training, this means that cold-water immersion will work great to reduce soreness and increase recovery.
If we have convinced you to try out the ice bath, start off with only 5 minutes. You don’t want to shock your body too much. It may also be easier to start with your toes out of the water for the first couple of times as well.
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