If you’re looking for a way to boost your health, performance, and mood, you might want to consider adding an inflatable cold plunge to your routine.
Cold plunging, also known as cold water immersion or ice bathing, is the practice of submerging yourself in cold water for a short period of time.
It may sound uncomfortable, but we absolutely love it, and the practice has many potential benefits that can make it worth the chill.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about inflatable cold plunges, including the best products on the market, benefits, and tips to get the most out of your ice bath.
Let’s dive in!
Best Inflatable Cold Plunge
If you want to enjoy the benefits of cold plunging at home, you might want to invest in an inflatable cold plunge tub.
These are portable, easy-to-use, and affordable options that can fit in your backyard, garage, or even bathroom.
There are many inflatable cold plunge tubs available online, but not all of them are created equal.
To help you choose the best one for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and highly-rated products on the market:
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- Simple set up
- Easy to drain and move
- Lid keeps water cold
- Fast draining design
- Easy to store away
Cold Plunge Benefits
Cold plunging has been used for centuries by various cultures and traditions as a way to enhance physical and mental well-being.
Some of the benefits that have been reported by cold plungers and supported by scientific research include:
Reduced inflammation and muscle soreness
Cold water constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the muscles, which can help decrease swelling and inflammation after exercise or injury.
Not only can this help relieve muscle pain and stiffness, but it can also speed up recovery to get you back in the gym or playing field.
Improved immune system and metabolism
Cold water exposure stimulates the production of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and thermogenic effects.
This means that it can help fight off infections, protect against oxidative stress, and increase energy expenditure.
Enhanced mood and mental clarity
Cold water immersion activates the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.
These neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of happiness, motivation, and reward.
Cold water also increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function and alertness.
Increased resilience and stress tolerance
Cold water immersion is a form of hormesis, a beneficial response to a mild stressor.
By exposing yourself to cold water regularly, you can easily train your body and mind to adapt to challenging situations.
This can help you cope with stress better and become more resilient.
Inflate Cold Plunge Set Up
Before you start using your inflatable cold plunge tub, make sure you follow these steps to ensure safety and effectiveness:
Consult your doctor
Cold plunging is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or pregnancy.
If you have any health concerns or questions, consult your doctor before trying cold plunging.
Related: Sauna and Ice Bath: Complete Guide
Set up your tub
Fill your tub with water according to the recommended level.
Most inflatable cold plunges require ice.
On average, a 10 lb bag of ice might cost $3.00. You will need 2-4 bags per session, running at $5 to $10+ per plunge.
Alternatively, a popular option is to invest in a cold plunge chiller. This will save you from making trips to the store for bags of ice or needing to buy a dedicated ice maker.
Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely in the water, such as a swimsuit or shorts.
Have a towel, robe, or blanket ready to dry yourself off after the plunge.
You can also have some warm water or tea nearby to drink after the plunge.
If you’re new to cold plunging, start with a short duration and a mild temperature.
You can gradually increase the time and lower the temperature as you get used to it.
A typical cold plunge session lasts between 2 and 10 minutes, depending on your tolerance and goals.
When you enter the cold water, you might feel a shock or a gasp reflex.
This is normal, but try to calm yourself down by breathing deeply and slowly.
Focus on your breath and relax your muscles as much as possible.
Related: Somatic Breathwork (Explained)
Enjoy the experience
Cold plunging can be challenging but also rewarding and enjoyable.
Try to embrace the sensation of the cold water and notice how it affects your body and mind.
You can also listen to music, meditate, or chat with a friend to make it more fun.
When you’re done with your cold plunge session, exit the tub carefully and dry yourself off quickly.
Avoid rubbing your skin too hard or using hot water to warm up, as this can cause blood vessels to dilate too fast and cause dizziness or fainting.
Instead, wrap yourself in a towel, robe, or blanket and drink some warm water or tea to restore your body temperature gradually.
Inflatable Cold Plunge Tips and Tricks
Cold plunging can be an amazing experience if you do it right. Here are some tips and tricks to make it more enjoyable:
- Do it regularly. The more you do cold plunging, the more you’ll get used to it and enjoy it. Try to make it a part of your routine, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. You’ll notice the benefits more clearly over time.
- Do it with others. Cold plunging can be more fun and motivating if you do it with others who share your interest. You can join a local cold plunge group or club, or invite some friends or family members to join you in your inflatable cold plunge tub.
- Do it after exercise. Cold plunging can be especially beneficial after exercise, as it can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, improve recovery, and enhance performance. Try to do cold plunging within 30 minutes of finishing your workout for optimal results.
- Do it in the morning. Cold plunging can be a great way to start your day, as it can boost your energy levels, mood, and mental clarity. Try to do cold plunging in the morning before breakfast for a refreshing wake-up call.
Inflatable cold plunge tubs are an excellent way to enjoy the benefits of cold plunging at home.
They are portable, easy-to-use, and affordable options that can fit in any space.
If you have a small space to work with, these tubs are perfect for providing affordable access to cold exposure.
What is the best portable cold plunge?
The Ice Pod offers the best value for quality and has nearly 2,000 positive customer reviews.
It’s portable, takes up a small amount of space, and is easy to set up indoors or outdoors.
Can you turn an inflatable hot tub into a cold plunge?
Yes, an inflatable hot tub can be turned into a cold plunge by simply filling it with cold water instead of hot.
However, it may not keep the water cold for as long as you’d like because these tubs are designed to retain heat, not to cool the water down.
For a more efficient cold plunge, you might need to add ice or use a portable chiller.
Are portable ice baths worth it?
Yes, portable ice baths are a practical and cost-effective solution for those who regularly partake in cold therapy for recovery from intense workouts, managing chronic pain, or boosting mental health.
Some key considerations include the ongoing cost of ice, the physical space required, and the maintenance effort.
Is cold plunging actually good for you?
Cold plunging, or cold-water immersion, has several potential health benefits.
These include reducing muscle inflammation and soreness after exercise, boosting mood and mental health, improving circulation, and potentially aiding weight loss.
Is it OK to cold plunge every day?
It is generally safe for healthy individuals to cold plunge every day, provided that they do not have any underlying health conditions that could be exacerbated by the cold, such as heart conditions.
It’s crucial to limit the time spent in the cold water, typically around 1 to 10 minutes, and to listen to your body’s signals to avoid hypothermia or other negative side effects.
What is the cheapest way to do a cold plunge at home?
The cheapest way to do a cold plunge at home is by using your own bathtub or a simple inflatable pool.
Fill it with cold tap water and add ice cubes, which can be made in your freezer or purchased from a store.