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A beautiful place to try cold water immersion for the first time

Featured Article

Take the Plunge!

It's hard to jump into cold waters, but the benefits make it a cool decision

Cindy Present, the Director of Wellness at Lake Austin Spa Resort, calls out the virtues of cold-water therapy. It’s worth the initial fear and freeze – she promises!

Cold water immersion is the hottest wellness trend this year. Why is it something we should all be exploring?

Cold water immersion has roots in cultures of high latitudes, with post-sauna dips to rinse toxins, jump-start blood flow and release endorphins, and in the first century, the Romans would plunge to cure physical ailments. It is told that even Hippocrates and Thomas Jefferson utilized the mental and physical benefits of cold-water soaks. In this area, the Comanches were known to soak in the waters of the (Texas) Colorado River in this valley. The winter water temps of Lake Austin vary between 50-65 degrees. Science Exposure to cold water temperatures can benefit immunity, digestion and circulation, while positively influencing the body’s ability to heal by activating the nervous system and hormones which change our physiology and mental capacity.

How have you incorporated cold water therapies into new experiences at Lake Austin?

We have always "naturally" embraced the invigorating waters of Lake Austin along with the science of Blue Mind that validates the mental and physical benefits of being in, near and on the water. However, the wave of natural, simple and real remedies moving to the forefront of wellness has allowed us to truly capitalize on what we embrace - and have naturally - at Lake Austin Spa Resort. Thus, our new Water Wellness programming includes rituals and practices that are natural and organic to what we have at our doorstep at Lake Austin Spa Resort - no pools, tubs or relocating needed here! Year-round, we now offer a Cold Water Lake Austin Plunge and a Paddle & Nature Immersion, which involved paddling out onto the Colorado River, going for a float, and meditating in the beautiful nature around us. At the moment, and every Spring, we offer something we call a Wild Water Sound Immersion - a guided floating journey on paddleboards on the lake, immersed in nature and surrounded by wild waters with native American flute sounds. Finally, in the summer we offer Wild Water Walking, which is a guided walk in the water while participants where floatation belts.

What should a guest expect when they sign up to do a cold-water plunge? It sounds horrid!

Before you plunge… Prepare - and expect to be cold. But know what your body is doing - visualize the blood moving to your organs, your lungs being stimulated through deeper, more intentional breathwork, your stress level "wanting" to increase, but your mentally and physically engaging resilience.

After the plunge… Know getting out will be warmer, so use it as a transition time, let your body continue to adjust without running to a warmer place. Get your towel and try to breathe for another minute minimally. Sometimes your body will continue to get colder once you’re out, but take advantage of that time.

Be honest, how hard is it to take the plunge that first time?

 

We like to utilize the "clock method". We will introduce the experience, talk about the history and know that at 10 after we will disrobe and within 15 seconds be "in". To some, it may be just legs, for some complete body to the neck, for others immersing the head as well. In Ironman, I learned the saying that if you expect the pain, then when it happens, it's much easier to bear - and setting your mind that it will be temporary.

Life is Yin and Yang, so after the cold, what lovely ways are there to warm up at Lake Austin - log fires, saunas, hot chocolate etc. I think knowing that awaits the other side is the only way I’d be able to do it!

 

A soothing spa treatment and/or body wrap, warm tea, hot chocolate, a eucalyptus steam room, crackling fireplace, going right into a stretch or yoga class afterward is also very beneficial for flexibility and mobility. The body is ready to more relaxed and pliable. Take the plunge – you won’t regret it!

For more information on the new program at Lake Austin Spa Resort, go to lakeaustin.com

Recorded benefits include:

• Improved circulation, cardiovascular health, immunity, energy, lymphatic movement, mindset, sleep, alertness.

• Reduction in inflammation, muscle aches & pain, soreness, stress hormones, anxiety, heart rate, depression.

• Increased metabolism, dopamine, endorphins.

• Psyche: creating a stressful situation for your body teaches your mind and body how to adapt in general.

"Exposure to cold water temperatures can benefit immunity, digestion and circulation, while positively influencing the body’s ability to heal by activating the nervous system and hormones which change our physiology and mental capacity," - Cindy Present, Director of Wellness at Lake Austin Spa Resort

  • A beautiful place to try cold water immersion for the first time
  • A beautiful place to try cold water immersion for the first time
  • Post-plunge tea at the firepit
  • Are you ready to take a plunge?