Ice Baths

Ice Baths



Ice Bathing has been going from the ancient Greek times when it was used to ease Muscle fatigue and other ailments, Hippocrates and Plato at this time both studied the effects of both cold and hot water therapies

And then later in Roman times it also became a place of socialising and the first Spas where built that provided hot and cold therapies for soldiers to recuperate. In times closer to us, famous Physicians John Floyer and James Currie both utilized cold water treatment for both Bodily and Mental health diseases


Today we use other medicines and remedies to help with Bodily disease but Ice bathing is making a huge comeback in the athletic world


I started using cold water therapy back in 2012, but at the time I didn’t know what it was or how it worked as I was using for a different reason than recovery or mental health, I used it to train for winter OCR by jumping in my local river in the middle of winter, or taking cold showers after a run. However, I was made aware of the benefits of Ice bathing when watching a River Dance documentary during covid, when dancers would rush off stage and jump into a Wheelie bin full of ice and water, then climb out, dry off and go back out to dance again, then in 2022/23 I spoke with Fergal Keany on a podcast and discussed it with him and this led me to my first ice bath purchase.


Cryotherapy,( Its official name) is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes has grown in popularity over the last 12 months for its brain and body-boosting benefits. But is it more than a rejuvenating trend?


I have read many quotes from top athletes recently


Ultra-endurance athlete and wellness advocate, Rich Roll, explains, “On the cold plunge, in terms of it being an antidepressant, and something to calm you down and clear the mind – it’s pretty effective.”


Professional Footballer Asmir Begovic, says "An ice bath always comes good at the end of the day. We know it's going to benefit us in the long run."

Tennis Player, Ben Shelton, “I use ice baths as a tool for recovery and muscle soreness. I work regularly with a physiotherapist, but sometimes it’s good to have different methods of injury prevention, and an ice bath is one of those. It’s also something I can do myself if my physiotherapist isn’t with me.”



Research has shown that it has many Physiological benefits -from boosting immunity to circulation, reducing stress and enhancing- but for me it is more the mental side of things.


Since I Started Ice bathing, I have felt more alive, I feel set up for the day and I also feel more recovered from fatigue, let me explain what I mean.

I’m almost 55-year-old and since 2021 I have cheated on OCR and I have been having an affair with ultra Running, - call it a midlife crisis, call it a stupid idea, call it what you want but I just love the idea of trying to run as far as I can.

But at my age stepping up the training from 10k runs to 15 mile+ runs has come with many issues and the biggest is recovery time, after a 10k run I could go out 24 hours later for another, but after a 15 mile run I needed 72 hours to recover, but since I found ice bathing every morning I am back down to 36 hours or less, you may say this is on the mind! But in a recent house move I didn’t ice bath for almost a month and recover time increased back to over 48 hours

I also feel less stressed after an ice bath, admittedly when I wake up to actual getting in, my stress goes up as I know its going to be cold, but them I’m in it and relaxing and the stress goes and so does some of that every day stress, my thought process is – nothing that is thrown at me today can be as tough as that ice bath



Fancy an Ice Bath then just head over to our Discounts Page for latest deal we have going


Next up will be my delve into Sauna’s so watch this space – plus I am building a plunge ice bath for deeper bathing –


How cold should the water be?

This is what the Experts say - Water turns to ice at 0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For an ice bath, the water should be around 10-15 degrees Celsius (around 50-60 Fahrenheit). 

What I do – If it’s a morning ice bath I just climb in – no mater what the temp is, however if its an evening ice bath, I throw in 4 or 5 ice packs ( the kind you put in a freeze bag) about an hour before


How long should you ice bath for? 

What Research shows :- you get the most benefit from cold treatment if you immerse yourself for up to 20 minutes. If you're new to ice baths, it will probably be difficult to stay put for longer than a few minutes. Building a tolerance base to endure discomfort for a bit longer each time is part of the process

What I say : Do it till you move out of your comfort zone and then stay in a little longer – You will be surprised! That little longer and you all of a sudden stop feeling the cold and you actually start to feel warm – however don’t stop in till you turn blue


What to do during the ice bath?

This is just me – I try to control my breathing, taking long deep Breaths, its natural to begin to take shallow, fast breaths. What you want to do is the opposite though: deep inhales allow more oxygen into the lungs to be moved around the body. 

I try to stay still too trying to meditate. I sit down with my legs bent and knees near my chest and my arms tight against by body and find that after a while it feels like I am wearing an invisible wet suit and there is a thin warm film over body, I know this because wheni do move I feel the cold again!


Are ice baths safe?

The more time you spend in the bath, the more numb your body will become. This can lead to struggling to get out due to loss of strength , so you have to be careful, the first few times you get in – make sure someone is close by to help, at least until you know your limits


What to do immediately after your ice bath?

Don’t Rush! Take your time, dry off properly you don’t want to slip due to wet feet

I like to take a warm shower afterwards too, not too hot as I’m told it can burn as your skin is not up to 100% feeling yet


My final bit of advice is

Don’t expect miracles, like all things it takes time and repetition to get to the final product


Fancy an Ice Bath then just head over to our Discounts Page for latest deal we have going


Next up will be my delve into Sauna’s so watch this space – plus I am building a plunge ice bath for deeper bathing –


Please note the pictures above are not of my fat body getting wet -Alan

About the author:

Alan Aka Muddy Duck

Founder of UKOCR, Winner of a Wolf Run and a Tight Yorkshireman

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