HuffPost: Does Cold Plunging Actually Do Anything?
HuffPost recently interviewed Tracy Zaslow, MD, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, about cold plunging and whether the increasingly popular social media trend is truly beneficial.
Cold plunging involves immersing the body in frigid temperatures—between 50 and 59 degrees—for 10 to 15 minutes, Zaslow told HuffPost. While celebrities and influencers boast about the health benefits of this practice, experts aren’t so convinced.
“There [are] some studies that did show if you submerge for about 10 minutes after exercising, there may be less soreness in the days to follow,” Zaslow said.
But stretching or doing an active-recovery post workout has proved to be more valuable, she added.
Research has suggested that cold plunging could have a positive impact on the immune system when paired with meditation and deep breathing. But Zaslow said it wasn’t clear whether the cold plunging actually made a difference.
“There was definitely some thought that it was the breathing versus the cold-water immersion that was a component,” she told HuffPost.
Studies also suggest a cold plunge can help with weight loss and feeling less stressed. However, Zaslow said further investigation is needed.
Because there isn’t a lot of science-backed evidence on the alleged benefits of cold plunging, Zaslow advises caution and recommends individuals follow a fitness regimen to achieve the same advantages.
“We know that exercise helps with sleep, weight loss, stress management, all of those things … and even pain management with certain components,” Zaslow told HuffPost.
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