Cold plunging, also known as cold water immersion or ice bathing, has become an increasingly popular practice for its many health and wellness benefits. But how long should you stay in a cold plunge or ice bath to get the most out of it while staying safe? Here's a guide to cold plunging best practices:
What is Cold Plunging?
Cold plunging involves immersing your body in very cold water for a short period of time. This usually means getting into a bath, pool, tub, barrel, or other vessel filled with cold water ranging from 50 to 68°F (10 to 20°C). The cold plunge sends your body into a bit of shock, causing responses like hyperventilation and increased heart rate. But when done properly and in small doses, it can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, boost energy levels, speed up recovery, and more.
At Airpuria, we offer premium cold plunges designed for home and commercial use, including the innovative Medical Frozen™ series created by Medical Breakthrough. These cold plunge tubs allow you to reap all the benefits of cold water immersion therapy right from the comfort of your own home or business.
How Long Should You Cold Plunge For?
When it comes to cold plunging best practices, start low and go slow. It's generally recommended to start with short cold plunges of just 1-3 minutes, especially if you are new to cold exposure. This gives your body a chance to gradually adapt without too much shock.
You can work your way up to longer plunges of 5-15 minutes as your body acclimates. But even very experienced cold water swimmers rarely go beyond 15 minutes due to safety concerns.
Here are some basic cold plunging duration guidelines:
Beginners: Start with just 10-30 seconds and work up to 1-3 minutes.
Intermediate: Build up to 3-5 minute cold plunges.
Advanced: Work up to 5-15 minute plunges once fully acclimated.
Elite: Very experienced cold water swimmers may go 15+ minutes, but this is not recommended for most.
The ideal cold plunge length depends on your personal fitness level, cold tolerance, and health status. Take it slowly and listen to your body. Shivering, numbness, and pain are signs it's time to get out and warm back up.
Setting Realistic Cold Plunge Goals As You Start Out
When first starting out with cold plunging, it's important to keep your goals and expectations realistic. Some key points:
Don't expect to work up to 15+ minute ice baths right away. This can take years of careful training for most people. Be patient and focus on consistency.
Avoid trying to push through intense discomfort or pain just to hit a longer time-goal. This can be dangerous.
Measure your progress in small increments like adding 10-30 seconds each week or session. Celebrate these small wins.
Focus more on how you feel before, during, and after plunging versus chasing time. Pay attention to your body's signals.
Take photographs and measurements to track concrete progress like improved mood, reduced inflammation, faster workout recovery, etc.
Setting realistic, sustainable goals will help you stick with cold plunging while building your tolerance safely over time. Be kind to yourself and don't compare yourself to others. Consistency over the long term is key.
Safety Gear & Equipment for Cold Plunging
Using the proper gear and equipment can help make your cold plunging experience more tolerable and safe:
Insulated boots - Protect your feet from the cold. Neoprene diving boots work well.
Gloves - Preserve hand dexterity and grip. Opt for thick neoprene gloves.
Robe/blanket - Have something warm and dry to wrap up in afterward nearby.
Socks/wool hat - Further protect extremities from excessive cold after your plunge.
Lightweight towel - Dry off quickly after exiting the cold plunge.
Pool thermometer - Monitor exact water temperature for safety.
Stopwatch - Time your cold plunges once you pass 30 seconds.
Foam mat - Cushioning to make hard surfaces less painful.
Yoga mat - Softer surface to stand/sit on. Provides traction.
Investing in this basic cold plunge gear will minimize discomfort and risk while optimizing results.
Making Cold Plunging A Sustainable Habit
Here are some tips to help you stick with cold plunging over time:
Don't jump into it right away - start with cold showers to get used to the temperature.
Make it as convenient and accessible as possible - set up your cold plunge right at home if you can.
Schedule it into your calendar so it becomes a normal routine, but stay flexible.
Vary your duration and frequency to keep it fresh and prevent boredom.
Pair it with something enjoyable like listening to music, sipping tea after, etc.
Do it first thing in the morning to boost energy and focus for the day.
Join a local cold plunging group or find an accountability partner to stay consistent.
Remind yourself of the amazing benefits, better health later is worth a little discomfort now!
By making cold plunging an enjoyable habit you look forward to each day, you'll stick with it consistently and reach your cold tolerance goals in no time. Be creative and stay patient with yourself as you form new lifelong habits.
Cold Plunge Options Offered By Airpuria
Medical Frozen 1™ Cold Plunge - Standard Size
The Medical Frozen 1™ is the entry-level cold plunge from Medical Breakthrough, designed for standard use for those up to 6'1" and 275 lbs. It features the core Medical Frozen technology like the Professional Series All-In-One Pump System, Healthy & Safe 37° Freezing™, and the proprietary Frozen Energy Shock™.
While more basic compared to higher models, the Medical Frozen 1™ still offers key factors like military-grade exterior construction, FoamSeal™ insulation, and the 20 Ultra Micron Filter System™. It's a simple and affordable way to start experiencing the many benefits of cold plunge therapy right at home.
Medical Frozen 2™ Cold Plunge + Accessories Kit
Step up to the Medical Frozen 2™ model, and you'll get all the great features of the Frozen 1 plus an accessories kit for added comfort and convenience. This includes an extra long water-resistant countertop to hold belongings like your phone, an ultra-comfortable 500lb step for easy entry/exit, and our Rapid Internal Cooling System™ for faster cool-down times.
Medical Frozen 3™ Cold Plunge + Accessories Kit + Essential Oil Steam Generator
The Medical Frozen 3™ adds an extra level of luxury and relaxation to your cold plunging routine through the inclusion of our aromatherapy steam generator add-on. Choose from a collection of 100% pure essential oil blends like Lemongrass, Nigerian Orange, Lavender, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus to infuse the steam with natural scents and therapeutic compounds. This creates a tranquil spa-like experience, and breathing the aromatic steam may provide added respiratory and pulmonary benefits as you immerse in the icy cold water.
Medical Frozen 4™ Cold Plunge - X-Large Size
With dimensions designed for those up to 6'6" and 350lbs, the extra spacious Medical Frozen 4™ Cold Plunge delivers premium full-body cold immersion in an extended frame. It shares the same military-grade durable shell, ice-cold 37° Freezing™, and a host of performance features as the rest of the Medical Frozen™ series, but can accommodate individuals up to 6'6 and 350 lbs. The X-Large Medical Frozen 4™ has a capacity for up to 100 gallons of water with our powerful all-in-one pump system.
Medical Frozen 5™ Cold Plunge X Large + Accessories
Step up to the feature-packed Medical Frozen 5™ X-Large model to unlock the ultimate cold plunge experience right at home. With the included accessories kit, you'll be able to leverage every bell and whistle we have included to optimize your cold water immersion sessions. This includes the cushy 500lb access step, water-resistant counter space for your essentials, rapid cooling, and all our performance pump systems built into an extra spacious interior that accommodates taller and larger frames.
Medical Frozen 6™ Cold Plunge X Large + Accessories + Essential Oil Steam Generator
The Medical Frozen 6™ Cold Plunge is a revolutionary cold water therapy device designed by a team of experts. With an all-in-one pump system, dual chiller, and advanced filtration, it ensures a superior experience, especially with its accessories and essential oil steam generator. Suitable for users up to 6'6 and 350 lbs, and designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
Medical Frozen 7™ Cold Plunge Commercial Size
The Medical Frozen 7™ Cold Plunge commercial size is more heavy-duty, accommodating users up to 6'7 and 375 lbs. Despite its large size, no plumbing is required, and it operates on a 120v system, which works with any home. Just plug and play, and you're ready to cold plunge!
Medical Frozen 8™ Cold Plunge Commercial Size + Accessories
The Medical Frozen 8™ Cold Plunge has the same features as Medical Frozen 7™ but comes with accessories. These accessories include a 500lb heavy-duty step for extra comfort and an extra long water and weather-resistant counter to hold your belongings while you enjoy your cold plunge.
Medical Frozen 9™ Cold Plunge Commercial Size + Accessories + Essential Oil Steam Generator
The Medical Frozen 9™ Cold Plunge is a state-of-the-art cold water therapy device that comes with an accessories kit and essential oil steam generator. It not only has a heavy-duty step and extra long counter, but it comes with an essential oil steam generator for the optimal experience during your cold plunge.
The Takeaway on Cold Plunging Duration
Cold plunging, when done properly, offers an array of potential benefits ranging from reduced inflammation to improved mental clarity and energy. Start with very short plunges of just 10-30 seconds, then slowly work your way up to 1-3 minutes as you monitor your body's response and tolerance.
Intermediate cold water swimmers can attempt longer plunges of 5+ minutes. And very advanced practitioners may go up to 15 minutes. However, most experts agree that beyond 15 minutes the risks start to outweigh the rewards for the majority of people.
Remember to increase your exposure gradually, get out at the first signs of distress, and consult your doctor before beginning if you have any health conditions. With these simple safety measures, you'll be on your way to enjoying all the revitalizing effects of cold plunging and ice bathing.
At Airpuria, we offer best-in-class Medical Frozen™ cold plunge tubs designed by doctors for safe cold water immersion right at home.
Contact us today to learn more or get started with your own cold plunge!
Cold Plunging Duration FAQ
What does a 2-minute cold plunge do?
For most beginners, a 2-minute cold plunge is enough exposure to gain some benefits while minimizing risk. In 2 minutes, your body will start to adapt by constricting blood vessels and increasing metabolism. This results in boosted circulation when you get out. Over time, regular 2-minute plunges can help reduce inflammation, increase energy, and improve mood.
How long does it take for cold plunge to work?
The effects of cold plunging are both immediate and cumulative over time. You may feel an instant “shock” and adrenaline surge when you get in cold water. But the real benefits happen after getting out, as your body works to warm back up. Improved circulation can be felt within minutes. Reduced soreness and inflammation may take a few hours or days of regular plunging to notice.
How many times a week should you cold plunge?
It’s recommended to start cold plunging just 1-2 times per week when beginning. This gives your body adequate rest between sessions to adapt safely. More advanced practitioners can increase to 3-4 plunges per week. Any more than this would risk overexposure for most people. Take at least 1-2 rest days between sessions.
Can you cold plunge too much?
Yes, it is possible to overdo cold plunge sessions, especially when starting out. Too frequent plunging can overwhelm your body rather than help it adapt. This could potentially lead to hypothermia. Stick within the recommended weekly guidelines based on your fitness level to avoid overexposure.
How long is too long in cold plunge?
More than 15 minutes continuously is considered too long for most people, even experienced cold water swimmers. Unless you’re an elite athlete who has built an exceptional tolerance over many years, limit your plunge sessions to 0-15 minutes at a time, based on water temp and your ability to adapt. Get out if you feel any concerning symptoms.
Is it okay to cold plunge every day?
Plunging every day is not recommended for beginners, as it doesn't allow your body adequate rest and adaptation between sessions. Even advanced cold water enthusiasts should limit full body immersion to 3-4 days per week max, with 1-2 rest days between sessions. Start with just 1-2 plunges per week and gradually increase frequency.
At Airpuria, the premium Medical Frozen™ cold plunge tubs we offer allow you to practice safe cold water immersion therapy in the comfort of your home.
Financing Your Cold Plunge Investment
Ready to bring the revitalizing benefits of cold plunging into your life? While Airpuria cold plunges are an investment, we offer financing options to make the purchase more affordable.
For individuals and families seeking cold plunge financing, we've partnered with 7Figures Funding to provide financing approval with no hard credit inquiry. If you qualify, you can access loans and lines of credit with rates as low as 0% for up to 18 months. Learn more and apply using the links below.
Financing for individuals: https://www.7figures.app/Airpuria
For businesses interested in financing a cold plunge, our financing partners at Reliant Capital Group offer flexible business financing terms tailored to your needs. With competitive rates and financing agreements spanning 6-84 months, they make acquiring an Airpuria cold plunge simple for clinics, gyms, spas, and more. Explore business financing options here.
Financing for businesses: https://reliantcapitalgrp.com/airpuria
Whether for personal or commercial use, our financing options allow you to benefit from cold water immersion therapy now while paying over time. Contact us today to learn more about purchasing your own cold plunge from Airpuria. The health and wellness boost you’ve been waiting for is within reach!