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New to cold plunges? 7 tips to maximize your first experience

When you think of Minnesota, you might imagine freezing temperatures and snowy landscapes. And honestly, you would be right! It does get pretty darn cold here.

But did you know that this frozen wonderland is not just about surviving the frigid temperatures? There is a whole hilarious, quirky, passionate, thriving culture built into Minnesota winters. Sometimes it involves coziness and cocoa and fires; other times it is about leaning into the cold and doing some insanely hard things. Imagine yourself sitting outside a cozy wood-fired sauna, surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals. The steam rises from the sauna, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. You feel the heat in your bones and it is getting to a point where you just can't handle it any more. You sit for a couple more minutes and then run out the door and jump right into a frozen lake! The initial shock freezes and pricks your skin but then after about 30 seconds, it subsides into numbness and a strange calm. Your friends laugh at you as you all start to shiver together. You control your breathing and racing heart as you sink into the feeling a little bit more and stay just a little bit longer. You decide enough is enough and climb gingerly back out to warm up your frozen bones in the sauna and start the whole process over again.

That is the experience that we hope for all of our attendees at Sauna Camp.

People standing in the snow doing breath work next to a steaming sauna
People standing in the snow doing breath work next to a steaming sauna

So why should you give cold plunges a try? Here are a few reasons:

1. Boosts circulation: When you immerse yourself in cold water, your blood vessels constrict, forcing blood to circulate more efficiently. This can help improve circulation and overall cardiovascular health. 2. Increases endorphins: Cold water exposure has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. You'll leave our cold plunge feeling invigorated and energized. 3. Builds mental resilience: Stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself with a cold plunge can help build mental resilience. It's a great way to practice pushing through discomfort and embracing new experiences. 4. Connects you with others: Sauna Camp is all about community. Our cold plunge experiences are designed to bring people together, fostering connections and friendships. You'll have the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who are also seeking personal growth and wellness.


Now that you're convinced to give cold plunges a try, here are a few cold plunge tips to make the most of your experience at Sauna Camp:

1. Start Slowly: If you're new to cold plunges, start with shorter durations, like a couple seconds, and gradually increase the time. If you can make it to 30 seconds or 1-minute, that is a FABULOUS goal to meet. Listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard.

2. Embrace The Cold: Instead of resisting the cold, try to embrace it. Focus on your breath and stay present in the moment. You'll find that the cold becomes more manageable when you accept it.

3. Control Your Breathing: When you first meet the cold waters, your body's first instinct is to gasp and to breathe quickly. Instead, breathe slowly out and empty your lungs as you dip into the water. When you are in, breathe in slowly and deeply keeping this steady rhythm to calm your nervous system and your mind.

4. Consider Wearing Wool Socks: Wool socks in the water?! I know. It sounds like a sensory nightmare. Some people get out of the cold plunge earlier than they want because it hurts their toes. Wearing wool socks in the water will actually help keep your toes warm longer. And when you get out of the water, it can help your feet from sticking to the ice. (We have rubber mats that you can walk on around Sauna Camp so this won't be a problem if you choose not to bring socks)

5. Consider Your Nerve Centers: Your body is covered in nerves, but there are certain areas that are bigger clusters of nerve endings with thinner skin than others. If you want a little bit more of a challenge, dip your wrists in the cold water or even the base of your neck. That should give you a little extra cold boost if you are looking for one.

6. Stay hydrated: Cold plunges can be intense and physically demanding, so it's important to stay hydrated before and after your session. Drink plenty of water to replenish your body not just with fluids, but electrolytes too. Putting a little bit of salt and lemon in your water should do the trick, but an actual electrolyte mixture is the best way to refuel your body.

7. Enjoy the sauna: After your cold plunge, take advantage of our wood-fired saunas. The heat will help relax your muscles and provide a soothing contrast to the cold water. At Sauna Camp, we believe that wellness is not just about physical health, but also about connecting with others and challenging yourself. Join us for an unforgettable experience of cold plunges and wood-fired saunas. Visit our website to learn more and book your membership or day pass, or maybe check out the events page for even more fun community activities. We can't wait to welcome you to our community of wellness enthusiasts.


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