The use of a sauna and cold plunge for health and wellness benefits is becoming increasingly popular.
Sauna therapy involves sitting in a hot, dry room or cabin, whereas a cold plunge involves immersing oneself in icy water for a brief period. Both of these therapies have been used for centuries, and both have their own unique benefits.
Some people may be surprised to find out that the benefits of the sauna at Powell River Recreation Complex are not limited to interesting and strange, far out conversations. A sauna’s benefits also include its ability to promote relaxation, improve cardiovascular health and detoxify the body.
The heat in a sauna causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. This increased blood flow can help reduce muscle soreness and promote healing of injuries.
Saunas also increases sweating, which helps to detoxify the body by eliminating toxins and waste products. Sauna therapy has also been found to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health, by lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and improving blood flow.
Cold plunges, on the other hand, are known for their ability to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and enhance immune function. The shock of the icy water causes the blood vessels to constrict, which can improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
The cold water can also stimulate the immune system, leading to an increased production of white blood cells and other immune cells. Additionally, cold plunges have been found to reduce muscle soreness and promote faster recovery from exercise or other physical activity.
Both sauna therapy and cold plunges have been found to be effective in reducing stress and promoting relaxation. The heat in the sauna and cold of the plunge both trigger the release of endorphins like dopamine, which can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Additionally, the contrast of hot and cold can be invigorating and stimulating, helping to promote alertness and focus.
When it comes to choosing between a sauna and a cold plunge, it really depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for relaxation and detoxification, a sauna might be the best choice for you. If you are looking to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and enhance immune function, a cold plunge might be a better choice.
There are also some safety considerations to keep in mind when using either therapy.
It is important to stay hydrated during sauna therapy, as the heat can cause dehydration. It is also important to limit the amount of time spent in the sauna, and to gradually increase the time spent in the heat. Beneficial time in the sauna is generally limited to 20 to 30 minutes, two to three times per week.
When using a cold plunge, it is important to ease into the water slowly, and to limit the amount of time spent in the icy water to avoid hypothermia. When in the cold, it takes about 2.5 minutes to achieve maximum physiological benefit per session, with up to 11 minutes total per week.
In conclusion, both sauna therapy and cold plunges have their own unique benefits for health and wellness. Sauna therapy is great for relaxation, detoxification and improving cardiovascular health, whereas cold plunges are ideal for improving circulation, reducing inflammation and enhancing immune function. Ultimately, the choice between the two therapies will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Whatever you choose, it is important to approach these therapies with caution and to follow safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Jeremy Buhay is the owner of Marine Chiropractic and Wellness on Marine Avenue in Powell River.