Sauna and Cold Plunge Benefits + My Must Have Sauna Accessories
Every time I post anything about hot/cold therapy on my IG, you guys wanna know all the info. I feel like saunas and cold plunging are kind of all the rage right now? Guess everyone is really experiencing the health benefits. Michael, Westin and I do too. We’ll go over benefits in a minute, but like, the high that I personally get from it is EUPHORIC.
Years ago, it all started with some cold showers. And before that I was such a fan of ice facials, cryotherapy, and duh, ice rolling. Big ice lover over here.
Before we get into all the specifics about the brands, and what I like about my sauna and cold plunges, the benefits, (& accessories I love, LOL) here is the exact protocol that I’ve been doing.
MY HOT/COLD THERAPY PROTOCOL:
+ 2 mins ice bath
+ 15 mins sauna
+ 2.5 mins ice bath
+ 20 min sauna
+ 3 mins ice bath
And I do this 3-4 times a week. It’s addicting. The feeling in your body after a cold plunge is insane. There’s no other feeling like it. The key is not to overdo it or it’s not as effective. Around 11 minutes per week is all that’s needed.
Dr. Huberman says that you should try to finish on COLD. And like, DUH, you’re gonna to want to end with the sauna, we all do. But if you end with cold it allows your body to heat up naturally which will stimulate your metabolism. And you want to keep that freezing fucking cold, shivering feeling for as long as possible so I wait like 30 minutes to shower. You want to keep that shiver effect so that it gets to your brown fat.
The postpartum experience with Townes was so different from Zaza’s, in so many ways, but one of the main things is that I feel like this layer of fat has dissolved from my body – & it’s from hot & cold therapy. I swear.
If you have yet to meet Dr. Huberman, he is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the department of neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has made numerous significant contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function, and neuroplasticity, which is the ability of our nervous system to rewire and learn new behavior skills and cognitive functioning.
He has a phenomenal podcast called Huberman Lab that me and Michael are both regular listeners of. Highly recommended because he does the best job presenting information that’s science-backed, digestible, applicable to literally everyone. He has been on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER show, part 1 & part 2, and like I took so many notes. Seriously listen with pen & paper.
Ok, so let’s get into the exact types of saunas & ice baths Michael and I have in our home.
♡ BARREL SAUNA
In our backyard we have such a beautiful, classic barrel sauna. It’s so relaxing, but energizing at the same time when used with the ice bath. This one makes you sweat. It’s hot, it gets touch, but the benefits are beyond.
If you’re interested in the sauna that we have, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll send you some info.
♡ SUNLIGHTEN INFRARED SAUNA
Indoors, in our wellness room, we have a Sunlighten infrared sauna. For me, I go in this for more of a chill time. It’s not as hot as the barrel, it’s more of like a slow burn. Michael likes to read in it, I go in the morning after I drink too much, or do legs up the wall and meditate. It’s just not as intense as the barrel.
HOT TIP: it’s the perfect place to get away from your kids.
All The Sauna Benefits:
+ heart health
+ muscle recovery
+ weight loss
If you decide to go with one of these, be sure to use the code SKINNY on this pricing form, and mention it to your sales rep.
Also, if you’re wanting to try an infrared sauna but don’t want to spend all that money installing one in your home or don’t have one at a spa near you, give Higher Dose a try. It enhances relaxation, promotes glowing skin and is perfect for people who don’t have space for a full blown sauna. And you can use code SKINNY15 for 15% off your purchase.
♡ THE COLD PLUNGE
LOVE the cold plunge. It’s so chic & looks good in any home, no matter your style. It’s not an ugly eyesore, ya know? Actually, the founder was on the blog not too long ago and you can check out his interview here. We have ours outside, but this is perfect if you want an ice bath inside your house.
If you’re going to purchase from The Cold Plunge use code SKINNY150 for $150 off.
♡ BLUE CUBE ICE BATH
This is the one that we use outside. The weather has been incredible in Austin lately, so we tend to use this one the most. Also, our barrel sauna is really close to it which makes the whole hot/cold therapy seamless. You can get all different sizes of ice bath from Blue Cube and I highly recommend it. Plus, you can use code SKINNY for $500 off.
It’s so nice & grounding and beautifully designed. It kinda like, just blends in with nature. It fits so well with our backyard environment, and Joe Rogan has this one. Fun fact, they were just custom building his when they dropped of mine.
The reason we have two, Blue Cube and The Cold Plunge, is because we love to try out all things wellness. Both are great choices and you can’t go wrong with either.
♡ ICE BARREL
The Ice Barrel is a really good option if you’re low on space. It’s fairly lightweight and you could put it anywhere. Just to be clear, we do not own this one, but I really like it as an option for people who are maybe renting/planning to move soon, or who are just getting into hot/cold therapy. Again, you can use code SKINNY for $125 off.
All The Ice Bath Health Benefits:
+ Speeds up muscle & injury recovery
+ Reduces inflammation
+ improves fat burning
+ improves skin conditions
+ builds mental toughness
+ Supports a healthy immune system
+ Improves lymphatic circulation
+ Increases red blood cell count & growth hormone levels
+ Improves levels of endurance & recovery
+ Increases cardiovascular health
+ Improves sleep & reducing stress
And now for the best part. Let’s get into the fashion of it all. LOL. No but really, these are all my must haves:
MUST HAVE SAUNA ACCESSORIES:
+ sauna bucket & ladle
Duh, to keep it steamy.
+ sauna hats (Westin’s, Michael’s & mine)
They regulate the temperature of your head, ears, and even prevent damage to your hair. In a nutshell, your head heats up the fastest and the hats keep your head relatively ‘cool.’ You soak the hat in water first and wear it wet, and as the water evaporates in the sauna, it keeps you cool (ish). Apparently it’s thought to reduce hair loss too.
+ Michael’s obnoxious water bottle
I mean, if you saw the stories, you know. This thing is huge.
+ my chic Stanley tumbler
Carry mine every where of course, and the sauna is no exception.
+ hotel robe
Because you still want to be comfortable while getting uncomfortable.
+ HOT MESS ICE ROLLER
Brooke from The Road told me to be careful with my face overheating & that ice rolling while in the sauna will help with hyperpigmentation.
+ Feel Free Tonic
We love sipping these in the sauna. Use code SKINNY for 25% off and listen to the founder on the podcast here.
MUST HAVE COLD PLUNGE ACCESSORIES:
+ UPF long sleeve swimsuit
Always be protecting your skin from the sun, even in a freezing fucking cold bath.
+ plush oversized towels
Love these pool towels, highly recommend.
+ best slippers in the world (also sometimes use cloud slides)
For the journey between hot & cold.
+ bamboo bathmat (more here)
Very grounding & just ties everything together, don’t you think?
There you have it. Truly loving all hot/cold therapy things. I love the intenseness of it all & I’ve always been like that with all things. I like super hot, ice fucking cold, insane spice, rough dry brushing – you get it.
Overall, doing hot/cold therapy has made me feel more clarity, more energized and more relaxed, it’s enhanced my quality of sleep & mood and I feel like it’s been really good for my skin? Noticed a huge difference in my hormones postpartum too. I felt more even-keeled.
If you’re just getting started the move is to ease into it. It’s like you need to have this perfect balance of being uncomfortable but safe. Start slow, with short intervals and work your way up. If you ever feel dizzy or lightheaded in the sauna, get out, stay hydrated and decrease your time.
You can literally learn everything else you want to now in Dr. Huberman’s podcast episodes (part 1 & part 2) and you can check out this post where we broke down his ice bath tips & tricks & how to utilize ice baths.
Let me know what benefits you’ve seen from hot and cold therapy below. So curious. And if you’re new to all this, just start with a 3 minute ice cold shower & the HOT MESS ICE ROLLER. You’ll be addicted in no time.
+ stalk this post with Brooke from The Road on fascia flossing.
++ learn where to start with supplements from the founder of Cymbiotika.