Choosing the Right Location: Creating a Comfortable Ice Bath Setting
Imagine yourself soaking in the tub after a long commute from the office or an intense gym session. Only instead of the water being warm, it’s icy cold.
Probably not the first thing you’d think about when it comes to a relaxing soak, but it comes with a host of health benefits.
Taking ice baths, also known as cold immersion or cryotherapy, helps to boost your mental and physical performance. This practice contributes to improved sleep, better mental focus, faster recovery from muscle injuries, and supports the immune system.
However, for ice baths to be effective, it’s not just about the chilling temperatures. Where you have your sessions plays a pivotal role in maximising the health advantages. The environment in which you immerse yourself also significantly impacts your overall comfort and, consequently, your willingness to endure the cold plunge.
Today, we’re looking at how different locations affect ice bath experiences. As we do so, you’ll discover:
- The pros and cons of indoor and outdoor settings for ice baths
- How to set up indoor and outdoor areas for optimal enjoyment of your sessions
- Accessories you can use to enhance your cold immersion experiences
- Where to purchase different types of high quality ice baths
Let’s take a plunge into the wonderful world of ice baths and how to achieve the best results with your chosen area.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Settings For Ice Baths
After a long day of workouts, running errands, attending meetings, or even watching the kids, there's nothing quite like an ice bath to help you feel at ease and refreshed.
Taking regular cold plunges is a simple yet effective way to introduce biohacking into your health regimen. If the term biohacking sounds intimidating, it’s just because it’s been made complicated by some industry leaders through hype and buzzwords.
In simple terms, it means DIY biology—making small, incremental changes over time to improve your health and overall well-being. Anyone who’s looking to enhance their quality of life can do it, whether you’re a student, parent, entrepreneur, or athlete.
Ice baths reduce muscle inflammation, help reduce stress and anxiety, boost your energy levels, among a host of other benefits. To ensure your baths are enjoyable, it’s important that the setting you choose provides physical and mental comfort.
When it comes to a suitable location for your chillout session, you can choose either indoors or outdoors depending on the available space, your comfort requirements and preference of environment.
Both of these settings come with their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some considerations to keep in mind when deciding where to take your cold plunge.
Indoor Ice Baths
Having your ice bath indoors allows you to control the temperature of the room to your liking, as opposed to outdoors where weather conditions cause fluctuations in temperature.
It’s also easier to keep the water consistently cold when indoors. As a rule of thumb, 10-15°C is the optimal temperature for ice baths, and maintaining this ensures you reap maximum benefits from your session.
If you’re someone who prefers indulging in your ice baths away from neighbours’ curious eyes, an indoor location is the perfect choice. The seclusion offered provides a safe space for you to sing along to your favourite songs blasting from your bluetooth speaker, without anyone judging.
What’s more, indoor settings enable you to enjoy sessions regardless of what nature does with the weather outside. You’re able to access your bath whenever you wish without worrying about the incoming dark clouds releasing rain in the middle of your bathtime.
“Amazing, one of the best. I’m enjoying my ice bath. I recommend it to anyone!!” Maggie G
Depending on the size of your home, indoor locations may have space constraints. This limits the size of your ice bath and potentially restricts your movement during the session.
In addition, if you’re using an ice bath chiller, you’ll need some clearance behind the fan (at least 50 cm) for proper ventilation to disperse the humidity generated during sessions. This could be a challenge if you don’t have much room to spare in your chill room.
Outdoor Ice Baths
When you want that connection with nature during your ice baths, nothing beats having your sessions outside. Just as the Nordics would take an ice cold dip surrounded by views of mountains and forests, you’re immersed in a natural environment, at one with the elements.
But that’s not all. In general, you have more space to set up larger ice baths outdoors, allowing for freedom of movement during the session. There’s also enough room for a chiller, so there’s no concern about the fan being obstructed by walls.
Explore Related Products: The Peak Athletics complete ice bath kits
And it gets even better. Spills and melting ice are less of a concern outdoors, simplifying cleanup. No floors to be wiped or mats to be hung out to dry means you get to enjoy the bath even more.
It’s not always possible to control who sees us when we’re outside, and this reduced privacy challenge is a major concern for outdoor ice baths. If you’re sensitive to potential onlookers having a visual of your sessions, this option won't be the best for you.
Also, outdoor ice baths are subject to weather fluctuations. This makes it challenging to maintain consistent water temperature and access the tub during adverse conditions such as dust storms.
Which Ice Bath Setting is Better?
At The Peak Athletics, we offer a variety of portable ice baths to enable you to enjoy flexibility of sessions. Whether you’re craving the cosiness of being indoors or being one with nature outside, these baths allow you to savour the goodness of cold therapy at your convenience.
Some portable versions come with wheels or carry bags to make moving them around easier—it doesn’t get better than this.
The following table highlights the differences between indoor and outdoor ice bath settings:
|Indoor Ice Baths
|Outdoor Ice Baths
|Easier to maintain consistent water temperature
|May require additional insulation or cooling systems to maintain water temperature
|Limited scenic views due to the enclosed environment
|Natural surroundings provide a visually appealing backdrop
|Space and Freedom
|Limited room space may restrict movement during the session
|More space for larger ice baths and movement
|Usable regardless of outdoor conditions
|May not be accessible during extreme conditions
|Access to Amenities
|Easier access to amenities such as changing rooms, showers, and heating systems
|May require additional setup for amenities
|Provides more privacy and seclusion
|Exposure to potential onlookers or distractions
Optimising Your Indoor Ice Bath Experience
Now that we’ve understood the kinds of experiences that both settings offer, let’s look at how to create the perfect ambience for your indoor cold plunges.
Control The Room Temperature
In contrast to the temperature of the water being low, your room needs to be warm to avoid your body getting too cold during the session.
Before doing a cold plunge, it's essential to warm up your body. This helps dilate blood vessels, improving circulation and preparing your muscles for the shock of cold immersion.
Using a thermostat to control the room temperature allows you to maintain your body's core warmth, preventing you from starting the ice bath feeling too cold, which could cause issues such as frostbite.
Apart from cold therapy itself, you can opt to combine it with a hot bath. This form of biohacking trains your body to adjust faster to temperature changes.
Keeping your room warm allows you to easily transition from the ice bath to a warm environment, leading to enhanced circulation and reduced muscle soreness.
In addition, it’s important to re-warm your body after an ice bath to restore normal circulation and minimise the risk of hypothermia. Maintaining a constant comfortable temperature of your room helps prevent a sudden shock to your system and ensures smooth recovery.
Maintain Your Bath Temperature
We saw earlier that your bath water needs to remain at 10-15°C for it to be therapeutic and offer mental and physical benefits such as reducing muscle cramps.
Using a chiller or cooler comes in handy for keeping the water nice and cold.
At The Peak Athletics, we offer a variety of coolers that help set and adjust your bath temperature automatically.
With fast-acting models such as the UltiM Classic, you don’t have to wait for ages to enjoy cold therapy sessions. In under an hour, the water cools down from 13.4°C down to 5°C, ready for you to soak in.
Integrate Smart Home Technology
Getting comfortable with cold plunges takes some time, especially when you’re just starting building this habit. Adding other elements to make your experience fun helps prepare you mentally before entering the soaking tub, and stay comfortable once you’re in the water.
To set the right mood for your ice baths, consider using smart lighting systems. These enable you to gradually dim the lights to create a calming atmosphere before your session. On the flipside, brightening them after the bath helps invigorate you.
Another fantastic idea is to incorporate coloured bulbs. Cold blue or white light simulates daylight and promotes alertness before your bath, while warmer hues such as orange create a soothing ambiance, promoting relaxation after your session.
Music also helps you get in the right mood for a cold soak. Using smart speakers, you can play uplifting tunes to help psych you up for the ice bath, and serene sounds for relaxation during recovery.
Preparing the Perfect Outdoor Ice Bath Setting
When cold soaking outdoors, you’re surrounded by the elements of nature. Being aware of what’s in your environment and preparing your bath setting to merge cohesively with it is an excellent way to take your cryotherapy sessions to the next level.
Take Advantage of Your Natural Surroundings
If there are scenic views around your home, set up your tub with these vistas as a backdrop. Imagine how amazing it would be to chill in your backyard while gazing at forested hills or snow-capped mountains in the distance.
There’s no better motivation to embrace the cold than looking upon nature’s grandeur. The serenity of the outdoors is unmatched at putting your mind at ease before and after the ice bath.
What’s more, being outside allows you to explore incorporating elements such as cold river water or natural ice from lakes into your baths. This offers a unique experience that boosts your connection with nature.
When it comes to comfort and privacy, using the aspects in your surroundings creates a grounding experience. Trees and dense vegetation are a fantastic natural canopy, providing shade and wind protection.
Also, if you’re concerned about maintaining a comfortable temperature around the ice bath area, vegetation helps with just that.
Equally important is the seclusion that plant cover provides. Trees help to obscure you from the view of others while you’re going on with your sessions.
Rocks make for fantastic platforms around the ice bath. Look for boulders with a flat surface to ensure you’re comfortable seating or standing on them.
Aside from being functional, rocks also enhance the aesthetic of your bath area, which helps you transition into the right mood for your session.
Use Man-Made Structures for Privacy and Comfort
Apart from natural elements, there are several options of man-made structures you can use to create a comfortable ambience. Some of these include:
- Gazebos and pergolas: Shade from the sun, protection against the rain
- Fencing: Reduces visibility from neighbouring properties
- Screens and windbreaks: Shield the ice bath from strong winds
- Outdoor fireplaces and heaters: Create a warm environment during cold weather
- Seating benches: Useful for relaxation during recovery
Whether you use natural or man-made elements, ensure you consider your local climate when designing the bath area to ensure it functions well throughout the year.
Enhancing Your Ice Bath Experience With Accessories
In addition to maintaining a relaxing setting, different accessories help to infuse comfort, convenience, and effectiveness into your ice baths. Below are some to consider incorporating into your cryotherapy sessions.
If you’ve been wondering how to take the guesswork out of gauging how cold your bath is, a water-resistant thermometer does the trick. It allows you to monitor the water temperature accurately and maintain the desired temperature for your sessions.
How about tracking how long you’ve been cold soaking? A waterproof timer helps you precisely control your ice bath duration, ensuring you stay safe within the recommended 5 minute maximum.
Also, consider making use of sound to add sensory enjoyment to your cold plunges. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers are excellent for playing soothing music or guided meditation playlists, thus helping you relax during and after the session.
For indoor baths, it’s important to have a surface to step on with enough friction to prevent accidents. An anti-slip mat or rug beside your bath gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re safe when entering and getting out of the tub.
To enhance your post-ice bath recovery, massage devices provide added relief. Items such as massage balls, foam rollers, and massage guns relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness, and enhance circulation, leaving you feeling refreshed.
With these accessories, your cold soaking sessions will become one of the parts of your day that you look forward to most.
The Ice Bath Ritual: Setting the Mood
Being in control of your body and mind is essential when practising cold immersion. This enables you to stay calm as your body’s natural responses to the icy temperatures take over, leading to improved results.
On its own, breathwork is an amazing biohacking tool. When combined with ice baths, it gives you double the benefits. Deep breathing techniques before the bath better prepare your mind and body for the cold, managing your natural stress response.
We recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after breathing exercises before going into the ice bath. This reduces the risk of the cold shock response, which includes rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and heightened stress.
As you enjoy the deep breathing, pairing it with mindfulness helps you feel even more relaxed. Pay attention to what you can see, hear, touch, and smell around you. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to the present moment.
Aromatherapy is another way to induce physical and mental calm before your sessions. Using a diffuser to disperse essential oil steam around the bath area or lighting scented candles creates an atmosphere of ease, better preparing you for the ice soak.
The following scents are ideal for promoting relaxation:
You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the water, but ensure the oil you choose is safe for use in water and won't cause any skin irritation.
At The Peak Athletics we’re committed to helping people from all walks of life stay on track in their biohacking journeys. We’ve got a few more resources to help you maximise the benefits you reap from ice baths.
Consider using apps to monitor and manage your stress levels. Examples of useful apps include:
- HeadSpace: Guided meditations
- OmVana: Inspirational speeches, and binaural beats, guided meditations
- Bulletproof Stress Detective: Deep breathing exercises
Integrating such apps into your ice bath routine enables you to maintain a state of calm before and during your sessions, thus helping you enjoy the sessions and get used to this practice of cold immersion faster.
Experience Ultimate Biohacking Benefits of Ice Baths With the Perfect Setting
Cold immersion is an easy way to improve your mental and physical performance. It takes only a few minutes per day yet helps you improve focus, recover from muscle pain faster, boosts your mood, and promotes better mental health.
For you to thoroughly enjoy ice baths, it’s essential to pick the right location and set it up such that it creates a relaxing atmosphere.
Whether you prefer indoors, outdoors, or switching between the two, a comfortable setting makes all the difference between okay sessions and phenomenal ones.
If you’re looking for high quality baths for your home, browse our collection of ice baths today. We have both standalone units and complete bath kits to suit various needs. Achieving your health and wellness goals is only a dip away.