I’ve mentioned ice baths a number of times in my posts. I take them after long training runs and after races. They require discipline, but the results are worthwhile.
What’s the point of taking an ice bath, you might ask?
Long story short, an ice bath enables a faster and more complete recovery after exercise. There’s a pretty good explanation in this article. Here’s an excerpt:
“The theory behind ice baths is related to the fact that intense exercise actually causes microtrauma, or tiny tears in muscle fibers. This muscle damage not only stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles ( muscle hypertrophy), but it is also linked with delayed onset muscle pain and soreness (DOMS) , which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.
The ice bath is thought to:
* Constrict blood vessels and flush waste products, like lactic acid, out of the affected tissues
* Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes
* Reduce swelling and tissue breakdown.”
There’s lots more good information in the article. I urge you to read it.
Consider taking ice baths after your long runs or intense workouts. You’ll thank me. Honest!