Hot and Cold for Long-Term Health: Benefits of Ice Baths and Saunas

Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by

In the quest for optimal health and well-being, unconventional methods can often come to the forefront. Ice baths and saunas, though seemingly extreme, have gained popularity for their remarkable impact on overall health when used correctly. 

Today, we speak to Dean Gladstone, Stress Management and Breathwork Coach about the immediate and long-term benefits that these contrasting therapies bring to the table.

What are the immediate benefits of ice baths?

Picture this: a brisk dip into icy waters, an electrifying shock to your senses. Ice baths are more than just a wake-up call; they excite the nervous system, stimulate the body, and kickstart the metabolism. It’s akin to the jolt you get from a cold shower or a strong cup of coffee in the morning. The immediate effects are tangible, making it a refreshing addition to your routine.

What benefits can long term use of ice baths bring to our overall health?

While studies on the long-term effects of ice baths may be less abundant compared to heat therapy, their potential benefits are diverse. Beyond the invigorating experience, ice baths contribute to cardiovascular health, bolster immunity, and promote mental well-being. Notably, the hormetic stress response activated by cold therapy proves beneficial, enhancing the body’s resilience to stressors over time. Anecdotal evidence even suggests that some individuals have successfully replaced vices like alcohol and drugs with the natural high derived from ice baths.

What short term benefits do saunas provide?

Similar to ice baths and exercise, saunas induce a stress response in the body, mirroring the effects of a workout. The benefits are extensive, encompassing improved cardiovascular health, detoxification, weight management, enhanced immune function, and profound relaxation. The sauna experience is more than just a heated retreat; it’s a holistic approach to well-being.

Why is learning to deal with stress so important for your body?

Stress, in its various forms, is an inevitable part of life. Learning to navigate stress is pivotal for our overall health. Ice baths, saunas, and exercise activate the hormetic stress response—a positive stress that fortifies our bodies against more significant challenges. This ability to regulate our stress response is a valuable skill, especially in emergency situations. As exemplified by Bondi lifeguards, stress management is not just a luxury but a life-enhancing necessity.

What are some simple lifestyle changes you recommend for holistic wellbeing?

Incorporating ice baths and saunas into your routine is not just about the immediate effects. It’s a gateway to a healthier lifestyle. A well-crafted morning routine that includes a dip in icy waters or a sauna session exposes you to sunlight, nature, and additional exercise—all contributing to your overall well-being. Engaging in wellness activities, whether alone or in groups, fosters a sense of community, nurturing your social well-being. The key is to build a straightforward and effective routine that supports both your physical and mental health, equipping you to tackle life’s everyday stressors.

The combination of ice baths and saunas offers a unique and powerful approach to holistic health. Beyond the initial shock and heat, these therapies provide a foundation for long-term well-being, enabling us to not only survive but thrive in the face of life’s challenges. So, whether you choose to embrace the icy plunge or bask in the sauna’s warmth, know that you’re investing in a journey toward a healthier, more resilient you.

Before incorporating ice baths into your wellness routine, it is important to speak to a professional who can discuss the correct way to approach these practices and help you understand the potential risks associated with these practices. Ice baths, while known for their invigorating benefits, may not be suitable for everyone. 

Dean Gladstone

Dean Gladstone

Dean is a qualified and practising Personal Trainer, Founder of Power of the Breath, Bondi Lifeguard, Holistic Health Coach, Oxygen Advantage Master Instructor, Breathwork Facilitator, Certified Ice Bath Instructor Yoga Teacher, Public Speaker and Performance Coach.

Dean’s remarkable career as a Bondi Lifeguard (literally rescuing people and bringing them back to life) means that combined with Power of the Breath, Dean has a unique and special skill set which allows him to help others manage stress effectively.

Dean’s personal mission revolves around helping people comprehend and cope with stress, offering a variety of strategies to enhance long-term health and performance.

Dean Gladstone

Dean Gladstone

Dean is a qualified and practising Personal Trainer, Founder of Power of the Breath, Bondi Lifeguard, Holistic Health Coach, Oxygen Advantage Master Instructor, Breathwork Facilitator, Certified Ice Bath Instructor Yoga Teacher, Public Speaker and Performance Coach.

Dean’s remarkable career as a Bondi Lifeguard (literally rescuing people and bringing them back to life) means that combined with Power of the Breath, Dean has a unique and special skill set which allows him to help others manage stress effectively.

Dean’s personal mission revolves around helping people comprehend and cope with stress, offering a variety of strategies to enhance long-term health and performance.

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Kathleen is driven by her passion to help patients on their healthcare journey through alternative medication.