Cold Is Good.
As a result of high impact exercises, damage can be caused to muscles which can cause swelling and inflammation. Ice baths aim to reduce this. Sporting competition and training put an athlete’s body under large amounts of stress. It is important to recover fully from these stresses before exercise can commence again. However, without any help recovery can be slow. One method of speeding up recovery is through the use of ice baths. Ice baths work by dramatically reducing the body’s temperature causing the body to work to maintain its natural core temperature. This causes a decrease in heart rate and an increase in oxygen consumption and peripheral resistance by making vessels constrict. This in turn increases vascular pressure which reduces the amount of fluid that can accumulate limiting muscle inflammation.
Cold water immersion is ideally used following a heavy weights session, between training sessions or after muscle injury resulting in soreness or bruising.
Try to build up a total of 5 minutes in the ice bath.
- 1 minute plunge- (try to relax as much a possible!),
- 2 minutes out of water (air temperature) ,
- Repeat 5 times.
- When very brave, 5 minutes straight.
- Decreases in perceived muscle soreness,
- Performance maintenance,
- Reduced muscle inflammation
- Reduced muscle damage.
- If an athlete has an illness, open wound, acute injury or serious bruising they should not participate in contrast therapy.
- Standing in shoulder height water provides about 5 times the compressive value of full length compression tights. This can lead to a great passive recovery session.