Workout is pretty hard to keep consistent, but what happens when you work hard one day and then face a lot of pain? It gets much more difficult. Many are inclined to search for the one crucial workout that will assist them to push to higher levels. Others try to find what new equipment will help to shave a gram off their bike system or make them a portion sleeker.
Let’s understand why an ice bath after hard workouts is important?
Exercises that focus on flexibility are essential for beginners and athletes have taken note of the suggestion to include strength and flexibility training into their workout regime. While breaks are important, it is also necessary to complete the days of training. Often, we tend to deviate. We always forget that recovery after a workout is as crucial as the workout itself. One of the major and talked about recovery systems is an ice bath after hard workouts.
There can’t be any shortcuts to getting to your goal. It might take a lot of pain to get through your leg day or core day but it counts. Since there can’t be any backout on working out a schedule, we can certainly focus on the recovery part of the system. Many marathoners now talk about ice baths as a part of their routine and they show visible benefits of the same. This has grabbed the attention of many towards the success of ice baths and their benefits.
Ice baths have benefits and let’s find them out:
After a hard workout session, microtrauma can be caused to the muscles due to the extent up to which it has been stressed. Small muscle damages are what activates the muscle cells for repair and help in muscle strengthening. Generally, after 24 hours of intense training, muscle ache starts. Soreness in the area of activity is felt to increase as time passes. There can be other ways to relieve muscle stress but this is where an ice bath or hot or cold showers can be useful.
- Known to flush out waste products like lactic acid which is produced extensively while workout out or stretching muscles and constricts blood vessels.
- Numbs the affected area and reduces swelling or burns
- Metabolic activity around the area is reduced.
Once the cold water immersion is done, rewarming the area can increase blood flow. It rejuvenates the muscles and the healing process is sped up. It has been noticed that ice baths can delay the onset of pain which is seen after 24-72 hours of tough training. Not only does it help with blood vessel functioning but also it helps with another fluid called the lymph. The heart’s blood circulates constantly via pressure around the walls of arteries and veins, lymph nodes do not possess a pump. Ice baths benefit in a way that constricts and opens vessels manually, which allows the fluids to move throughout your body. They are exceptionally convenient but are very hard to adapt to.
Also read: 5 Shoulder Workout You Need To Try Today!
While an ice bath sounds relaxing, it’s the complete opposite. The water temperature ranges from 12-15 degrees celsius. The first few minutes might feel really strange but after a while, if you relax, you’ll start to get used to it. Maximum immersion time is about 15-20 minutes. This is the perfect ice bath for athletes. It reduces muscle inflammation and relaxes the blood vessels.
Pros and cons for ice bath after hard workouts:
- muscle soreness is decreased up to 20% after ice baths.
- Helpful in flushing of waste products like lactic acids and assists in repairing tissues
- The bath can concurrently heal the whole lower body which is more beneficial than ice packs.
- Reduces inflammation of muscles.
- It can be a difficult experience.
- Not taking proper temperature into consideration can leave the body in shock and eventually raises heart rate and blood pressure.
- Overdoing it can decrease muscle activity.
- Since not much is known about this and research is yet to be done, it’s safe to wait.
Now that we’ve seen the pros and cons let’s see ice bath dos and don’ts
- Be cautious: the temperature range is very loud and clear – from 15 to 11 degrees celsius. It’s smarter to start from 15 if it’s your first time and then take the temperature colder if need be.
- Rather than setting it up by yourself, it’ll be safer if your gym has it for you or you could find someone setting it up for you.
- Lastly, we all have our own comfort zones. Find yours and stick to it.
- After the ice bath, consider covering yourself up and your body gradually warming up. This can help your muscles relax slowly.
- Never over-expose yourself. stick to the time limits to avoid straining your body.
Hot and Cold Shower:
Replacing to ice bath or cryotherapy, there is a contrasting water bath. As the name suggests, a cold shower is followed by a hot one. temperature ranges generally between 12-15 degrees celsius and as for hot water, temperature ranges between 37-40 degrees celsius which is close to body temperature. Immersions of one minute in cold water and two minutes for hot are generally advised while repeating it about 3 times. This ice bath for athletes is done for those who often strain themselves and find it hard to recover from it.
Ice baths overall have shown a lot of good results. They help you recover quickly but that’s about it. They cannot increase your performance rate and make you better within a day. Ice bath after hard workouts can be your solution to working out every day and maintaining consistency. Taking care of the temperature and other details, one can do this efficiently and include it into their workout regime. Workouts can also be tuned in a way that exercises can help you heal too.