People always love to try and emulate their favourite celebrities and the wellness routines of the fittest, healthiest celebs are among the top trends people want to copy. After all, who wouldn’t want to do what they can to replicate the incredible physique or dashing looks of an A list star?
One activity that a lot of people will be a little more reserved to try out for themselves though is a cold plunge. That said, with more and more celebrities taking up the activity all the time, it is beginning so seep into the mainstream with increasing frequency.
Known to offer a great range of mental, physical, and health benefits, a cold plunge is certainly something that is at the very least worth considering. However, what if you haven’t actually heard of anyone you are interested in using them?
Well, we will now look at 6 celebrities who use cold plunges as part of their wellness routine. With a range of celebs with different bodies and from different walks of life, there is sure to be at least one on the list that you have heard of and want to replicate.
Jack Dorsey is the co-founder of social media platform Twitter and financial company Block Inc, as well as a great advocate of taking care of both your physical and mental health.
With a net worth of over 5 billion dollars, he is someone that has access to literally any options for physical and mental improvement in existence.
However, despite his incredible wealth, he still swears by meditation and cold plunges as the best way to optimise his level of wellness. Three years ago, Dorsey started using saunas and ice baths every evening.
He first sits in a barrel sauna set to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (104 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes, then jumps straight into an ice bath set at 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) for three minutes. He repeats the process three times, finishing with one minute in the ice bath.
The use of both hot and cold therapy in symbiosis with one another is ideal for optimising the health benefits that each offers, while also maximising the effects of the other.
Lady Gaga may be one of the most famous singers on the planet but she is just one of a host of A-listers and athletes who swear by the physical benefits of regularly taking ice baths.
However, she is actually a great case study as she specifically says it helps her to manage the symptoms of her fibromyalgia, a serious health condition that she suffers from, which includes chronic pain, fatigue, and poor sleep quality and quantity.
As part of her pre- and post-show routine, Lady Gaga takes a ten minute ice bath, follows it up with 20 minutes in a hot bath, and then finishes off with 20 minutes in a NormaTec air pressure compression suit, which further encourages blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling.
Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete known as ‘The Iceman’, who has long used cold therapy to condition his body. Over the past 20 years, he has broken a number of records related to cold exposure, thanks to using ‘cold, hard nature’ as his teacher.
Among his incredible accomplishments he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, ran a half marathon inside the Arctic Circle barefoot, and stood in a container for over 112 minutes while completely covered with ice cubes.
His extensive training has helped him learn how to control his breathing, heartrate, and blood circulation, as well as be able to withstand extreme temperatures.
He has innovated the Wim Hof Method, which combines breathing, cold therapy, and commitment, to allow others to try and replicate his training and achieve the same kinds of feats and benefits. So successful is his method that he now has thousands of people around the world teaching it to others.
Best known for his muscular physique and role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Chris Hemsworth unsurprisingly knows all about intense workout regimens. As a result, he claims he often uses ice baths to help speed up his recovery and reduce fatigue after a tough workout
On a recent press tour, he claimed to have “been doing a lot of cold showers recently,” as “It’s like cold water therapy”. He also mentioned that he began experimenting with cold water therapy after reading about Wim Hoff, as he finds him “really interesting.”
Chris Hemsworth uses a chest freezer that he has converted into an at-home DIY ice bath and claims it is a part of his daily morning routine. He claims if he is stiff or sore, he will often “loosen up the muscles” in a sauna, and then do “an ice bath to give me a shot of adrenaline,”.
Thor does warn of the dangers of cold plunges too however, stating “I’ve got it on a timer so that I don’t freeze over. It is intense but quite meditative.”
Having broken onto the movie scene as a teen heartthrob in “High School Musical”, in recent years Zac Efron has become better known for the incredible physique he developed while filming the movie “Baywatch”. Now in his 30s, Zac has been open about his use of both hot and cold therapies.
He has posted videos to his which show that even his holiday plans include the techniques. In one, he can be seen sitting in a hot sauna set to 156 degrees Fahrenheit (69 degrees Celsius) before running out and immediately plunging into an ice cold bath.
More than just a way to keep fit, Zac admits he likes to keep consistent with the routines, due to the overall benefits it offers both his health and wellbeing as well.
Miranda Kerr is an Australian model, perhaps best known as one of Victoria’s Secret’s “Victoria’s Secret Angels”. Recognised for her fabulous physique and photogenic appearance, she claims she starts “every single day” with a cold shower as “it’s basically good for everything”.
She then goes on the break down that the “everything” in question includes the way it benefits her circulation and boosts the shine of her hair, while making her feel more energised and invigorated.
Her routine each day involves what she calls an “all over body brush”, before jumping in the shower and washing at a normal, warm temperature, before finishing off with “a cold blast” for at least the last 30 seconds.
She claims that by turning off the hot water before the end, it allows the cold water to invigorate her body and provide “the best wake-up call”, while also offering up all of the known benefits that come when using both hot and cold therapies in unison with one another.
What Is A Cold Plunge?
A cold plunge is a process where you completely submerge your entire body in cold water that is between 59 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 10 degrees Celsius). They can take many forms, ranging from simple cold showers to dedicated ice baths.
Cold plunges are used as they activate many of the systems throughout your body, which allows them to provide natural healing abilities and offer relief from chronic illnesses and their symptoms.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Plunges?
There is an incredible list of cold plunge benefits that people use the practice to make the most of. We will now take a look at some of the most popular options, to show you exactly why cold plunges have become so popular with celebrities in recent years.
Improves Circulation And Heart Health
Exposing your body to extremely cold temperatures leads to the circulatory system ramping up its activity, which causes a significant increase in blood flow. This improved circulation will offer a number of positive effects, including reducing inflammation and boosting recovery
Perhaps the most beneficial effect of improved circulation is that it enhances the health of the heart. This makes cold plunges a great option to help prevent hypertension and cardiovascular disease, as well as easing the symptoms or reversing the conditions in those who have already developed them.
A study of people who took part in regular swimming sessions in cold water (water below 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius)) showed that it had a positive effect on many of their body functions, such as the immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems, as well as on the brain and mental health.
Reduces Muscle Strain And Improves Recovery
Cold plunges have been proven to speed up recovery time, reduce fatigue, and even stimulate neuromuscular recovery, especially after people engage in a competitive sport. Studies suggest that this is largely down to the increased flow of oxygenated blood that they encourage.
The icy water in a cold plunge makes your central nervous system constrict the blood vessels in your limbs, which forces the warm blood to flow to your vital organs instead.
When you exit the cold plunge, your blood vessels will then dilate, forcing the blood to flood back into the tissue of the muscles in your extremities and skin.
This will not only speed up muscular recovery and reduce muscle soreness but will also provide a great workout for the blood vessels, which will help them become stronger over time. These effects can even be made even more significant if you take a warm shower as soon as you exit the cold plunge.
Can Decrease Inflammation
By lowering your body temperature with a cold plunge, you will also reduce inflammation around the joints and any sites of injuries. This will provide a soothing effect on any joint pains you have and create a much better situation for healing and recovery to occur in.
This also makes cold plunges extremely beneficial for people with conditions such as arthritis.
Beyond just their anti-inflammatory benefits, a study of people with arthritis showed they achieved a higher quality of sleep after cold water treatment. As healing occurs most prominently while you sleep, the patients displayed much lower pain levels than those in the control group.
Supports hair, Nail & Skin Health
By increasing blood flow with a cold plunge, you will activate hair follicles and help to nourish them, making your hair grow thicker and faster. These effects have even been shown to prevent hair loss and encourage regrowth in many cases.
Cold therapy has long been proven to be extremely effective for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and this is why they will be given an ice cap, to try and prevent the hair loss associated with the procedure.
Cold plunges will even make your pores smaller and reduce the amount of oil they secrete, while also tightening your skin. This will help to prevent breakouts of acne and greasy hair, while ensuring your hair and skin remain healthy, smooth, and moisturised.
When you combine the greater skin health and paralyzing of nerves that cold plunges cause, it also makes them an effective treatment or method of prevention for conditions like chronic itching, eczema, hives, and a host of other skin conditions.
Good For Mental Health
Cold plunges are known to activate the body’s sympathetic nervous system. This will elevate the levels of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline in your blood, as well as increase the synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well, while also training your brain to deal better with stress.
Low levels of norepinephrine are proven to be a major cause of depression and various other mental health issues. Meanwhile, heightened levels have been shown to make the brain more energetic and alert. As a result, many antidepressants are made using norepinephrine stimulators.
When the peripheral nerve endings of the cold receptors in your skin send electrical impulses to the brain during a cold plunge, it can naturally help to alleviate many of the symptoms of depression and enhance your mood, leading to a much happier, healthier, more relaxed mental state.
A cold plunge will also increase the stimulation of your vagus nerve, the longest, most complex nerve in the brain. This lowers sympathetic activity and increases parasympathetic activity, leading to long term mood improvements, better pain management, greater resilience, and enhanced wellbeing.
What Are The Risks Of Cold Plunges?
While cold plunges can certainly be advantageous to your health, there are also some risks if you don’t use them sensibly. With that in mind, we will now take a look at the risks of cold plunges, to ensure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you begin using one.
Tachycardia can refer to any kind of abnormally fast heartbeat, however, it is primarily reserved to describe heart rates above 100 beats per minute. When you enter a cold plunge, the freezing temperature can send your system into shock, causing your heart to race.
As the vagus nerve is responsible for lowering your heart rate back to its normal level, the effects that the cold have on that can alter how quickly it does its job.
To try and prevent this situation, avoid using water that is a significantly lower temperature than what you have used before and focus on your breathing, making sure to take slow, deep, controlled breaths.
Arrhythmias refer to abnormal heart beats, which is when your heart isn’t beating in a consistent pattern. While small arrhythmias are mostly a minor inconvenience that can cause slight pains, more severe arrhythmias are much more serious and can even be fatal.
Both the cause and prevention of arrhythmias is the same as with tachycardia. Focus on your breathing, know your limits, and use cold plunges sensibly and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Allergic & Anaphylactic Shock
While extremely rare, some people can actually be allergic to extremely cold water. This means it has the potential to send you into anaphylactic shock and can even put your life at risk. This reaction is known as cold induced urticaria.
The first signs of cold urticaria are normally hives, while fainting and seizures also common with the condition. Death can occur if you experience a severe attack or if you are left untreated for an extended period after the attack has taken place.
To minimise the risk of cold induced urticaria, if you have any concerns that you may suffer from this condition, you should take a shower in cold but not freezing water while someone else is around. This should allow you to determine if you are a sufferer in as safe of an environment as possible.
Frostbite is a condition where the tissues of the body, most commonly areas such as the nose, ears, fingers, and toes, are damaged due to prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures.
This is perhaps the most common issue people will face when using a cold plunge, as well as the easiest to prevent. Frostbite will usually only occur if the exposure to the extreme cold is prolonged, or the water temperature is excessively low.
To avoid such a complication from occurring, it is recommended that you use cold plunges at a temperature between 50°F and 59°F (10°C and 15°C) and for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
Non-Freezing Cold Injuries
Non-freezing cold injuries are injuries that cause a tissue damage similar to frostbite but lack its severity. These will occur in the same way as frostbite but will happen sooner, meaning they are much more likely to occur if you don’t take the precautions mentioned above.
Cold plunges have a long history of providing health benefits and can be used by everyone from top athletes to people suffering from different ailments. While not all celebrity trends are a good idea to follow, this is certainly one that is far more likely to do you good than harm.
While the 6 celebrities we have looked at above are just the tip of the iceberg, they should give you a clear example of the sort of physique or health benefits you can obtain by using cold plunges. It should even give you confidence that, despite all their money, they still see them as the best option.
If you have decided to try it for yourself, you could either go the simple cold shower route or look to purchase one of the best cold plunges on the market. Even if you aren’t ready for it, you may be able to use an option like a migraine relief hat to help you remedy a specific problem.
Either way, there may never have been a better time to experience the many mental and physical health benefits that cold therapy has to offer for yourself than right now.