Hot new trend in homes

Teammates cheering at the Pac 12 Champs swim meet

My daughter leaning on a block, cheering on a teammate who was trying for her first NCAA cut at the PAC 12 swimming championships.

One of the things I like about the resort we visit in Mexico is a super hot jacuzzi outside our patio with a cold plunge pool next to it. We spend the evenings going back in forth between the two.

I’m not alone enjoying this sensation. I read in the Wall Street Journal that a new home trend — besides backyard bars — is cold plunge pools.

In an article called “The Hottest New Home Amenity? ‘It’s Brutal.'” According to reporter Jessica Flint, “Homeowners are spending tens of thousands of dollars to outfit their properties with cold plunges.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Most mornings after Stephen Garten wakes up at his home in Austin, Texas, he goes into his backyard and starts pacing, preparing himself for what’s next. “It’s brutal,” says Garten, 37, the founder and CEO of social impact company Charity Charge. “It’s a real challenge every day.”

He’s talking about lowering himself into a 66-inch-long and 24-inch-wide stainless steel tub clad in customized zebrawood and submerging himself up to his neck in water that he sets at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, with water circulating at 1,400 gallons a minute. “It’s like being in a river,” he says of the flow rate produced by this particular vessel, a Blue Cube cold plunge.

It’s an experience that Garten typically tolerates for less than two minutes at a time, once or twice a day. And it comes at a price of $19,000. Blue Cube, based in Redmond, Ore., makes cold plunge units that cost between around $18,000 and $29,000.

I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pricey addition to the backyard. Fortunately, our pool only gets a little morning sun and even though it’s June — it’s still pretty cold. Of course not 39 degrees cold, but inviting after sweating during my morning walk! In the winter, it’s cold enough I stand waist deep after a hike on our nature trails. It helps get my legs back under me.

I have a friend from college who lives in Sun Valley, Idaho. Her husband said they have a snowy creek behind their house and he gets in and lays down after working out! Wow!

It reminds me of my daughter’s swimming years. Starting in high school, she’d have an ice bath after prelims. Finals would be in the evening and to get her legs back in shape we’d fill the tub in the hotel with cold water and ice from the ice maker down the hall. She’d get in with some sound effects and sit waist deep in ice water!

Afterwards, she lay on the ground with her legs up against the wall.

Ice baths and cold plunges have been used for years by athletes. Now the trend is going mainstream and the health benefits include less joint, muscle pain and anxiety, boosted energy and more focus.

The good news is you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to reap the benefits. All you need is a tub with ice and cold water!

What are your thoughts about cold plunge or ice baths? Have your tried it? If so, did it help your with pain, sore muscles or stress?

When our kids were young swimmers on the Piranha Swim Team in Palm Springs.

34 thoughts on “Hot new trend in homes

  1. My daughter and I went to a spa a few months ago that had all sorts of pools and saunas and steams. Not a fan of cold plunge.

  2. I’m seeing those ads every day now for a backyard device. My walking is not so strenuous that I’m willing to toss half my body into frigid water 😉

  3. Cold plunges are supposed to be very good for you, but I’m just saying no! 😄 I am not a fan of shocking cold. Just watching my kids and grandkids transition from the jacuzzi to the regular pool makes me wince- I’ll stay in the jacuzzi. And I love a steam room. But the shower after has to be warm still. I don’t even put ice in my water bottle. Nope- no ice cold for me! But I’m happy that you enjoy it! All the people I trust about such things say it is incredibly good for you!

  4. I don’t know… there always has to be “something,” right. People will start investing in this and soon tire of it, then industry will come up with “something else” that we ALL have to have to make our lives better. LOL

  5. I am not a fan of the cold! However, there has been a lot of longevity research over the past few decades that shows that those who expose themselves to extreme temperatures (think sauna and ice plunge) have better cardiovascular health and longer health spans… it just sounds too awful, though! 😬

  6. I’ve had to do ice baths after long-distance bike riding to restore my muscles for the next day. It is brutal – but you are so right, incredibly restorative for muscles and joints.

  7. Want a cold plunge that cost nothing? Try the Bearing Sea. Make sure to bring an ice pick. I prefer bath-warm water. That I why we live on the Gulf. where water temps are 70+ in January.

  8. I expect there is some science behind the benefits. They have a cryo service here in Durango. I think it is vapor, not water, but well below freezing. Like from dry ice perhaps, or liquid nitrogen (I hope not). Not really sure. But I have no intention of doing any of it. I do not like the cold. I’ll get I to a regular pool after a hot soak, but I don’t even want ice in my drinking water.

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