There are many opinions as when is the best time to Ice after acute injury. Most of the research today states that the 1st 12 hours after an acute injury. After the initial 12 hours the ice actually prevents the inflammation from doing its part to heal the injury. This is due to the fact that inflammation makes the vessels more permeable allowing more blood into the injured area to facilitate healing. Based on that evidence it is quite clear that ice/cold inhibits inflammation.
That begs the question, is cold exposure training beneficial to dealing with chronic inflammation? The research again would say “yes”. If you are so inclined start looking into the research of Dr Jack Kruse and Wim Hoff.
What you will find is a plethora of information showing the benefits of cold training for human health. Benefits include: increase brown fat accumulation (brown fat is highly metabolic), decrease in body fat, improvement in immune function, and many, many more.
It’s best to dive in face first. No, seriously as a mammal you are equipped with the Dive Reflex which according to WikiPedia: “The diving reflex is triggered specifically by chilling and wetting the nostrils and face while breath-holding, and is sustained via neural processing originating in the carotid chemoreceptors. The most noticeable effects are on the cardiovascular system, which displays peripheral vasoconstriction, slowed heart rate, redirection of blood to the vital organs to conserve oxygen, release of red blood cells stored in the spleen, and, in humans, heart rhythm irregularities. Although aquatic animals have evolved profound physiological adaptations to conserve oxygen during submersion, the apnea and its duration, bradycardia, vasoconstriction, and redistribution of cardiac output occur also in terrestrial animals as a neural response, but the effects are more profound in natural divers.” “
To begin your cold training start with a bucket of ice water, take a deep breath, submerge your face into the water for as long as you can. Start slow and work your way up. Once you have gotten comfortable with the dive reflex you can start working your way up to cold showers and eventually ice baths. Check out our free YouTube Video on the dive reflex below!
Want to learn more about the benefits of cold exposure? Check out our Patreon page for the in-depth version of this blog. Want to see how to do the ice bath properly? Check out our advancedvideo tutorial on our Patreon page.
I have implemented cold training for about 5 years now and am a firm believer. Start slow and give it a try!
Still need more help? Check out all of our resources below:
✵COACHING and Blog