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Enhance Recovery with Contrast Therapy: Sauna & Ice Bath 🔥❄️

Enhance Recovery with Contrast Therapy: Sauna & Ice Bath 🔥❄️

What is Contrast Therapy? ❄️🔥
What is the best routine for the sauna and ice bath? 🧊♨️
Contrast therapy involves alternating between exposure to extreme heat (such as a sauna) and extreme cold (like an ice bath). This dynamic contrast stimulates the body's natural responses, promoting circulation, reducing inflammation, accelerating recovery and more. 
Benefits of Contrast Therapy:
1. Enhanced Recovery: Research has found that contrast therapy effectively reduces markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in athletes, contributing to faster recovery times.
2. Improved Circulation: improved blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to muscles while flushing out metabolic waste products.
3. Pain Relief: The combination of heat and cold can alleviate pain associated with injuries, tight muscles, arthritis, or chronic conditions.
4. Mental Well-being: Enhance mood, reduce stress levels, and improve overall psychological well-being  
5. Performance Enhancement: Contrast therapy has been found to enhance athletic performance by optimising recovery and significantly reducing muscle soreness and improving muscle function after strenuous exercise.
6. Endurance: Contrast therapy has been found to enhance endurance performance and delay the onset of fatigue in athletes. Additionally, contract therapy has been found to simulate the benefits of aerobic fitness (cardio) due to the good stress it puts on your heart.
How to Do Contrast Therapy:
1. Start Hot: Begin with a session in the sauna for 10-25, increase core body temperature, start sweating, activate heat shock proteins.
(Traditional Sauna - 70~90 degrees) 
(Infrared Sauna - temperature doesn’t matter as much, 40~65 degrees) 
2. Cold plunge: Follow up with a brief immersion in an ice bath or cold shower for 1-5 minutes,  constrict blood vessels, reduce inflammation, active cold shock proteins (anywhere between 3-15 degrees)
3. **Repeat Sequence:** Alternate between hot and cold sessions for 2-3 cycles, ending with a final cold exposure.
Be sure to Re-Hydrate
Rule: Drink 500ml of water per 10 minutes in the Sauna - before, during, or after. 
Sauna: 57 minutes or more a week (3-7 sessions)
  • Saunaing after exercise has been found to increase muscle gain
  • Do later in the day (circadian rhythm benefits)
Ice Bath: 11 minutes or more a week (3-7 sessions)
  • Make sure your heart is submerged
  • Best to do before strength training (anaerobic) (boost growth hormone) (there is some good inflammation from strength training that is taken away if you ice bath straight afterwards)
  • Best to do after Cardio (aerobic) 
  • Early in the morning (circadian rhythm benefits)
Contrast therapy: Can be done any time though best to do it after training as it can be very strenuous.
Experiment with timing variations to find what works best for your body, take care with high intensity cold exposure immediately before bedtime though due to its stimulating effects. 
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