The Chilling Trend: How My Teenage Son Got Me Into Ice Baths
The Good, Bad, and Unexpected of Ice Baths for Optimal Health and Performance
My son (13) is the only person who could have gotten me onboard the “Ice Bath Train”.
I’ve had friends go all-in, plenty of men within FoE do it, and Twitter is full of Ice-Bath-Bros; I’ve always stayed away as I fucking hate being cold.
Last week my son said he wanted to take an ice bath…
I hate cold water
I had zero desire to do it
So, of course, I said, “Hell yeah, let’s go”.
78lbs of ice in the bathtub later
The tub is full, the temperature reader is blank as it is too cold, and my son says he wants to go first.
He steps into the tub wearing nothing but his bathing suit and is met with the pain of the cold, and before it can deter him, he holds the sides of the tub, sits down, and starts laughing to deal with the shock, which is now ice water and ice cubes up to his lower chest…
He then works his way down, breathing and laughing to deal with his mind panicking until only his head is above water, and he stays there for 4 minutes.
I was talking to him, making sure he was breathing, listening to his body, and soaking in the moment.
He got out, wrapped a towel around himself, and walked out of the bathroom, saying, “Your turn”.
I went next, stepped in, and thought, “fuck this shit”.
Koda wasn’t in there; it was just me and my bathing suit. I could have easily splashed some wear on myself and said I did it, I could not have done it and said I was good, but again, my son is asking me to take on an uncomfortable challenge, what good am I as a father and example of a man if I were to not rise to the occasion of simply getting into some cold water?
I plunged my body into the water, neck-deep, for 6 minutes.
This is now “a thing” we’ll continue to do.
I don’t know what prompted this.
I don’t necessarily enjoy it
I do know there will never be a time I refuse to go into that water, either before or after him.
I ask a lot of my kids in an effort to help them become their best selves; I’ll be damned if I do not reciprocate the support and be there when they ask something of me, even when I may not want to do it.
Optimizing Your Family’s Health and Well-Being.
Plunging into ice-cold water might seem odd, and again, I have no clue what prompted my son to bring this into our home, but he did, and since we took the plunge, we’ve sat down together to learn of the benefits it offers.
Ice Baths for Muscle Recovery
They built a new Planet Fitness near us, and that has turned my son and me into official gym bros, something he’d been looking forward to since turning 13 (when you can be an official guest at PF). With us now lifting together in a new environment, the post-lift ice bath is becoming a part of our new routine.
After a rigorous workout, sliding into an ice bath is like walking out into a blizzard after being in the sauna; everything that’s hot and swollen calms down and centers itself. As it turns out, this practice aids in muscle recovery. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, reducing inflammation and minimizing muscle soreness.
According to a study in the Journal of Sports Sciences, those who opt for ice baths experience a 20% reduction in muscle soreness.
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