Take the Cold Plunge
On this week's installment of Where Surfing Crosses Over With Current Events, comes the inescapable subject of Cold Plunges.
If you have an Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok account (I only have 2 of those 3) you have inevitably seen the booming popularity of ice baths aka cold plunges. (The second most popular thing in 2023 after Pickleball).
According to a Today article:
"Many say cold plunge benefits include relieving muscle soreness, aiding with recovery after workouts, reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. Some report cold plunges also yield mental health benefits, like improving clarity and reducing depression or anxiety."
I am not here to confirm or refute any of these claims, but I do have a number of friends who swear by the practice.
My only observation is... I think this is something that surfers have known for a very long time.
Spending time in cold water is a part of regular life for most surfers who don't live in the tropics. While the water isn't usually in the mid-30's, extended periods of time in the 50-60 degree waters off our local beaches does tend to make me feel better about the day ahead and refresh my body in a way that few other activities do.
The simple act of duck-diving a cold wave and letting it wash over you is as restorative as any metal tub filled with ice. I don't think there is any doubt that time spent in cold water is good for the body and mind, I just think I prefer to be paddling around picking off left-handers instead of sitting still.
I'm glad the internet fitness & wellness crowd is finally catching up with something that many of us have known–and benefitted from—for years.