New Year Goals + The Power of Ritual
Is Cold Plunge the Secret to Wellness?
As the New Year prods us to assess our health and wellness goals, the team at RITUAL have some tips for sustaining new resolutions.
Experience has shown the secret to success lies not merely in the goal itself, but in the creation of habits and rituals that nurture your physical and mental well-being. Putting consistent effort into a series of small, purposeful actions can lead to transformative change. While popular goals focus on better sleep, a balanced diet, exercise, and mindfulness or meditation, we have a new one for you to try. Cold Plunge and Contrast Therapy (cold immersion followed by warming body in sauna) can make you feel great AND support the pursuit of your other goals.
With its growing popularity, there are many names for cold plunge. You may have heard people talking about ice baths, cold immersion, or cold water therapy. It involves immersing yourself in cold water for a few minutes and can be done in a pool, lake, the ocean, or in your own shower. One of the main benefits is the instant increase of your baseline dopamine levels, boosting motivation and drive. Those who cold plunge report that they feel motivated, can think clearer, and mood is elevated.
For those intrigued by contrast therapy, the fusion of heat and cold offers additional benefits. Sauna sessions, coupled with cold plunges, stimulate circulation, bolster the immune system, and invigorate both body and mind. It’s about physical fortitude as well as mental resilience. Especially during winter, the mental health benefits of sauna sessions become more pronounced. The contrast between the cozy warmth and the bracing chill triggers an endorphin release, generating a sense of euphoria while combatting seasonal sluggishness.
Can hot and cold be the path to a happier, healthier you in 2024?
Establishing a routine around contrast therapy can be transformative. Start gradually, perhaps with sauna sessions followed by brief cold plunges, and progressively extend the duration as your body acclimates. Newbies reactions range from thrill and exhilaration to relaxation and bliss. Those who make sauna and cold dipping part of their regular wellness activities often talk about how pushing themselves with hot and cold exposure has also reinforced their ability to follow through with other challenges and endeavors. Pairing these activities with mindful practices or post-session stretches amplifies their impact. Many people combine contrast therapy with exercise programs, serving as both a reward and recovery tool.
Create your own Ritual with a Membership or Pass
Here at Ritual Nordic Spa, hot and cold therapy can also be a fun social experience! Our signature Nordic Circuit features a Finnish sauna, steam, cold plunge, Nordic bucket shower, salt lounge and outdoor patios. Spa guests choose a one- or two-hour circuit, and move through the hot and cold stations at their own pace, resting in between. All you need is your swimsuit! We offer memberships and passes to make regular visits convenient and affordable, with options to fit different lifestyles. Members enjoy some exclusive perks like 10% off Swedish Massage, retail and café items, plus a free “buddy pass” each month to bring a friend (or use themselves!)