Ice Bath in the wild – and why should try

To plunge into an ice bath is hot. However the reason you should try our ice bath is even better then the fact that it’s trendy. As you might have heard, they happen to have many different health benefits.

The water temperature of an ice bath is 0–3 degrees celsius. As you immerse your body into this temperature, an automatic reaction kicks in. This reaction in itself is probably nothing new for your body: You have most likely at some point used ice to reduce pain and swelling in for example a sprained ankle.

What happens is, your body’s immun system gets activated. Pain relieving hormones like endorfins – the feel-good hormone – are released into the blood stream. The result of this is a sensation of physical pleasure and can reduce stress, depression, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure and enhance the healing process of wounds and injuries.

How does it work?

At Granö Beckasin, located in the north of Sweden, we cut a hole in the ice of our calm river as soon as it has frozen. It’s well marked in order to prevent accidental plunges. When you step in for a bath, your feet reach the river floor. Also we have a ladder in place. It needs to be taken in and out of the water daily, and we need to knock a new hole in the top ice layer each morning.

Although immersing the body in to ice cold water can be an uncomfortable experience at first, it only has positive effects on most of us. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, for example, or any heart condition, you should advice your doctor first. Hypothermia, when the body temperature goes below 35 degrees and the blood flow to the brain decreases, is a serious condition that can occur if you stay too long in the water. We recommend you to start with just a couple of minutes.

In addition, it’s important to remember the body temperature keeps dropping even after you get out of the water. The reduce the risk of hypothermia you need to gradually get the body temperature up after your ice bath. Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Wear a warm hat and gloves during your bath, or put on right after.
  • Take off your wet swimsuit and dry your body immediately.
  • Put on dry and warm clothes as soon as you can. Start with your upper body.
  • Keep a thermos of hot tea, coffee or chocolate available after your bath.
  • It can also be nice to eat something sweet, the sugar will help the warming up of the body.
  • Move around or find a warm place to sit.

Tips and packages

  • A sauna before your ice bath can be a nice idea. Our wood burning sauna is placed near the river and the ice bath.
  • In our Wild Swimming Package you get instructions and a warm hat. You can choose a package with or without sauna.
  • Access to the ice bath (without sauna) is free with all our winter packages.