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Plunge Practice

Before jumping into the freezing waters of the Tay River during the Polar Bear Plunge, there are many fun ways you can prepare your body for the cold. Make sure to take precautions and follow the safety tips for these exercises as well:

Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Plunge

Below are some examples of practices that can help your body adjust to cold shock and prepare you for the icy plunge into the Tay River. 

Warm-Cold

Try transitioning to cold showers first, where it is easier to control the temperature and step out if you need a break. If this is still difficult, you can alternate between warm and cold water, moving the temperature to the coldest option for at least 20-30 seconds before switching back. When you're ready, you can then transition to cold baths. 

Short Shocks

Another way to prepare yourself is with smaller amounts of exposure such as running through a cold sprinkler or spraying yourself with cold water from a hose. You can also try just submerging your hands and feet into a bucket of ice water for practice. 

Ice Ice

To take it to the next level, you can add ice cubes into your cold bath or fill an inflatable pool with ice water. Put 2-3 ice bags into the bathtub before filling it and stepping in. If you feel it is too cold, you can just dip your hands and feet and then go back through the other options until you are ready.

Breathing Style

Breathing properly is important for cold water plunges. If you would rather only dip into cold water on the day of the plunge, you can still prepare by practicing circular breathing exercises. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth without pausing 30 times.

For more strategies, you can visit Healthline's website on tips for cold water dips.

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