How To Build Your Own At-Home Ice Bath
Taking a cold shower every day, especially in the morning, is probably the last thing you want to do the second your roll out of bed. Although it sounds unappealing, cold showers have proven health and wellness benefits, such as calming itchy skin, waking you up faster, making you more alert, increasing your circulation, reducing muscle soreness post-workout, potentially boosting weight loss, and creating glowy hair and skin. This might be an abrupt adjustment to your daily routine, so try starting out slow by incorporating cool showers several times a week before jumping into the deep end. If you’re feeling ambitious, then you might want to try an ice bath. Typically, athletes use this method to reduce muscle inflammation after training or a game. A proper ice bath can set you back a pretty penny, so we’ve outlined step-by-step instructions for you to build your very own at-home version.
STEP 1: BUY A DEEP FREEZER
Any standard deep freezer or chest freezer that you would typically keep in your garage will work. We suggest that you buy cheap or used — no need to splurge on a high-ticket item here. Check out this one on Amazon! Trust us, you won’t think that you’ll be able to fit your entire body inside, but you’d be surprised that it’s a perfect size to fit a human body. Stop thinking about that crime documentary you just watched and hop on in!
STEP 2: FILL WITH WATER
Fill the freezer with water. That’s it for step three — fairly straightforward and simple. We suggest that you use a garden hose to transport the water. You also want to leave about 10-12 inches of room from the top so that the water doesn’t spill over when you get inside.
STEP 3: GET A DIGITAL THERMOMETER
If you want to take your ice bath to the next level, then you’re going to want to purchase a digital thermometer and timer. Here’s one from Amazon for $10. Making sure that you keep an eye on your water temperature is crucial. You don’t want the water to actually freeze, but rather stay at the optimal level of coldness for recovering those hard-worked muscles. You’re going to want to drop the cord in and mount the digital display on the outside with some double-sided tape and you’ll be able to see the temperature without having to open the freezer. Now on to the temperature, which can be a difficult task to tackle and the reason why you’ll need a timer.
STEP 4: SET THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
Don’t freak out if the water freezes at first. Try flipping the freezer on its side to help speed up the thawing process. You can also try to adjust the min-max dial, but this could be time-consuming. Honestly, the most effective way to get the perfect temperature is by using a smart plug with a timer. This one from Amazon is great and it’s very affordable. Smart plugs are awesome because you can control everything from your smartphone. We suggest that you run it twice a day for 30 only minutes at a time. No two freezers are the same and neither are people, so keep in mind that you will have to find what works best for you, your freezer, and your ice bath intentions. The temperature should be different for a morning refresher dip and a full-body recovery session. It is an ice bath after all, but many people think that the temperature won’t be that bad. It’s probably a good idea to start at around 55 degrees with a sitting time of 1-2 minutes and then build up your tolerance from there. We know making a cold plunge part of your daily routine can be daunting, but we promise that you will not be disappointed with the benefits and results. So jump on in, the water is fine!