Take the ColdTub Plunge at SBAC

A woman shivering after using a coldtub

Cold immersion therapy has existed in one iteration or another since ancient Egypt, yet modern health junkies have reignited interest in the practice. At SBAC, our members use our ColdTubs to counteract muscle soreness. Like any viral wellness trend, knowledge is power, and there are a few important things to know before braving the cold. 

Are ColdTubs the Same As Cryotherapy? 

Cold plunges and cryotherapy are meant to lower your internal temperature to achieve their desired results. However, cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to cool the air in an enclosed chamber. The result is a few minutes of exposure to temperatures ranging from -200 to -300 degrees Fahrenheit. The ColdTubs we use at SBAC are the Icepod models. We fill them with water and set it to your desired temperature

The benefits of each are essentially the same, and it’s just a matter of personal preference. The good news is that the health benefits of both are connected to frequency, not length of exposure. 

Speaking of Benefits…

Although cold therapy has endured for around 5,000 years, it remains an under-studied treatment. Because of this, many of the purported benefits are theoretical, and most evidence is compelling but anecdotal experiences. 

What we do know is that exposure to cold causes your blood vessels to constrict, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by a high-impact workout. It also reduces your core body temperature, which prevents heat stroke in athletes training in hot temperatures. 

Many enthusiasts swear by cold plunging’s mood-boosting effect, and at least one study

confirms that cold water immersion does cause a steep increase in key chemicals that enhance happiness, cognition, and mental focus. However, it’s unknown if this is a physiological reaction to frigid temperatures or simply a result of the adrenaline rush that comes with doing something thrilling and overcoming a challenge.

Either way, the potential benefits may outweigh the temporary discomfort—you won’t know until you try!

Guidelines for Plunging

Before trying out cold water therapy at SBAC, there are a few things to consider: 

1. Do not try cold water immersion if you have a history of cardiac issues, a heart condition, low blood pressure, or are on blood pressure medications. 

2. Prime your body beforehand by breathing cold air and splashing your neck or head with cold water. This will help lessen the shock to your body.

3. Start slow: immerse yourself for 1-2 minutes the first time and add a minute each time. Don’t exceed ten minutes, and don’t force yourself to stay longer than is comfortable. It’s time to get out if your teeth chatter or you’re shivering. 

4. Control your breathing once you’re in the tub to help your nervous and cardiovascular systems relax.

5. Bring warm clothing to change into afterward.

Cold therapy is an individual experience that affects everyone differently. For example, you may prefer to submerge a limb rather than your whole body or find that heat works better at alleviating muscle pain. Cold therapy is not one size fits all, so feel free to adjust it to your preference. 

Try ColdTubs and More Amenities at SBAC

Santa Barbara Athletic Club has amenities designed for your wellness and pleasure. Additionally, we’re honoring mental health awareness and offering a more cerebral approach by partnering with Headspace. Take advantage of this promotion to receive 50% off our initiation fee and six months of free access to the Headpace app. Visit our website to discover all the other perks of being an SBAC member!