3 Cold Plunges A Week
So why am I sitting in cold water 3 times a week??!
I like to view Wim Hof as an eccentric, happy, motivating, and inspiring man who has popularized sitting in cold water :) I was inspired at the beginning of 2022 to sign my husband and me up for an introductory Wim Hof workshop, taught by a local instructor in Ottawa.
We covered the Wim Hof breathing technique, the science behind cold exposure, and then did our very first cold plunge in an ice bath later in the day.
The main header on his website is “You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are”. And boy, does that apply to sitting in an ice bath, learning to control your breathing, and getting through something that can be perceived as painful.
My favourite moment of a cold plunge is when you are able to easily breathe in and out and can actually smile and laugh. Your body relaxes and it’s truly refreshing.
A few months after our initial workshop I signed us up for the advanced workshop that included many of the same techniques. We did a more in-depth breathing exercise and then instead of a cold plunge in a horse trough we waded into the Ottawa River.
For some reason, prayer hands (see image above) help me get through uncomfortable situations. LOL.
While I don’t per se enjoy cold plunges, I love the exhilarating feel they bring post-plunge. So when I was thinking about what challenges to give myself for my 2023 resilience challenge I thought I would tackle this challenge right off the back, in the middle of our winter.
My January Challenge
So in January of 2023, I’m challenging myself to 3 cold plunges a week.
As of the 19th of the month, I’ve successfully kept up with my goal so far.
My husband has even inspired me to stay in a little longer than I had originally planned. I had planned to do at least 2 mins per plunge. However, he shared that the research shows that for cold plunges to be beneficial you need at least 11 mins a week. If I’m plunging at least 3 times a week that means at least 3 mins and 45 seconds per plunge.
Sometimes I have a nightly Epsom salt bath to chill out. So to conserve water, I was leaving the bath water overnight to cool off and then plunging in the morning. Then I upped the ante by running cold water baths straight from the tap, turned all the way to cold.
And this week I’ve upped the ante even more. I filled Tupperware containers with water, stick them outside to let them freeze, and then dumped the massive ice cubes into the bath water. This week, I’ve even encouraged/forced my husband to join me for each plunge.
His face doesn’t say he loves me for the suggestion but he’s willingly getting in :)
This weekend I’ll share more research on the benefits of cold plunges if you’d like to geek out on the research with me.
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I love this! One of my old coaches 20 years ago had us plunge regularly to help heal our internal systems, particularly after a hard sparring session. It worked for me quite well.
I am also mildly jealous of your access to cold, by that meaning you can put containers outside to freeze. I have to go to the store as my tiny ice maker can't keep up. Which is annoying, one day I'll be in a place where I can buy a legitimate plunge tank to sit in every day for five to ten minutes without worrying about buying ice. In the meantime, I do cryotherapy along with cold immersion as much as is possible. Even if it's just a dunk in that 60 degree Pacific Ocean right now.