“But ice baths hurt! I can't take them!”
Sometimes I hear from people: It's easy for you to take ice baths, you love them, but me — I can't do it, I just don't like the cold, and ice baths hurt.
But do you really have to like the cold to take an ice bath? Find out in this video!
Most People Don't Like The Cold
Here's the truth: Most people, including those who take regular cold showers and ice baths, do not like the cold. Yes, you may even say that it hurts to get into the ice bath. It hurts even those who do it all the time, at least the first few seconds if not more!
My friend and mentor Adrienne Jezick who has taken ice baths for 4 years and reversed three autoimmune conditions and lost 50 lbs by doing it, admits that every time when she's about to get in, she's fighting it a little bit because it never stops being uncomfortable.
I can say that this is absolutely true. Ice baths hurt at first, but with more practice, they hurt less!
The Initial Shock Response When You Get In The Ice Bath
It's true that when you first touch the ice cold water, you body will go into a shock response. You will be releasing adrenaline and cortisol, and your brain tells you to get out of this seemingly dangerous situation. This is all normal and expected — and yes, even those who practice regularly, get this exact same response. Nobody is immune to it!
However, the more you practice, the faster you start feeling comfortable once you get into the ice bath.
For most of my new clients, it takes about 45 or so seconds until they start feeling a bit more relaxed. If they can get through that time, they likely also get through the recommended 2 minutes in the ice bath.
I have taken cold showers regularly for about a year, and ice baths about 9-10 months at this point, and I start feeling comfortable much earlier than 45 seconds in. These days, it takes about 10 seconds from the moment I touch the water, to start feeling okay.
Of course, I still feel the cold and it still hurts at first. But the initial hurt and discomfort goes away quicker.
What Makes People Go Back For More Ice Baths?
Even though ice baths hurt, thousands of people keep going back for more. Many take ice baths or cold showers daily, despite how uncomfortable they are.
It's the effects that ice baths have on our health. I've mentioned many of them here, but everyone does it for their own reason.
For me personally, the main reasons why I keep going back are the benefits that I experience with my mental health.
I always feel more energized, at the same time, calmer after taking an ice bath. It's calm, present energy.
I sleep better when I take ice baths regularly.
My mood is a lot better.
And as a person who tends to get anxiety and has quite racing mind, ice baths have helped to balance my nervous system and help me feel more chill overall.
Can Ice Baths Help With Body Goals?
Our mind and body are connected so deeply that whatever is going on in our mind is also reflected in our bodies. When my mind is calmer, I make better decisions around food. When I'm feeling positive, I'm always excited to do my workout. When I'm healthy mentally, there's a good chance that I'm also healthy physically.
I've seen many people who can't get the fat loss and muscle building results that they want, no matter how hard they try and how perfect their diet and exercise are. And the reason might be that their nervous system is simply so unbalanced and they are so stressed out that it affects their ability to burn body fat and build muscle.
Ice baths can help to balance that system.
Now you know that even regular ice bathers get the shock response, and that ice baths hurt them too, the question might be: How do they make themselves to go back again and again?
The answer is: With discipline.
Everyone can be motivated once in a while but motivation is not a long time strategy. New year's resolutions are a clear example of this…
But the way to follow through is to use discipline. Create yourself a cold shower or ice bath schedule, so that you get it done no matter what. For example, commit to 3, 4 or 5 times a week and put it on your calendar the way do with all the other things that are important to you.
If you want to get the health benefits, you have to stay disciplined and committed to this practice. Do it as often as you can but also listen to your body! If something feels too much, there's no need to push yourself too far. Be kind to yourself!
How To Get Started With Ice Baths
If you'd like to give ice baths a try (I highly recommend it!) but you have never done it before, then the best wat to get your feet wet is my 5-Day Cold Water Challenge. In this challenge, we start with very small and simple cold water exposure (not even full body at first) and then add a little bit to it over the course of 5 days. By day 5, you will be ready to take your first ice bath.
I will also provide helpful guided meditations to make sure that you succeed!
You may also want to check out this video: How To Crush Your First Ice Bath.