24 Hour Fitness CEO Chris Roussos tests the (ice) waters.

Cold therapy doesn’t sound like much fun, but many competitive athletes have long depended on it for crucial muscle tissue recovery. More recently, scientists have begun exploring the boundaries and effects of exposure to extreme cold on the nervous system, the immune system and cellular behavior, and proponents such as Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman, advocate a regimen that includes cold therapy for significant health benefits.

This month, Chris Roussos accepts the challenge to try one form of cold therapy: full immersion in an ice bath. He shares his experience with the practice—and he’s going to try a new challenge every month.

Timing: Evening

Approach: I first overfilled the bathtub and had to drain some water to make room for all the ice. My son, a college athlete, was on hand to give me plenty of coaching, and he suggested that I jump right into the ice bath rather than ease into it. So I stepped right in and immediately submerged myself for the full effect.

Duration: I sat in the tub for about one full minute, getting laughed at by my family. Our two Samoyeds seemed to enjoy the tub-side ice service.

Surprises: I’m used to grinding through challenges as part of my morning workout and pushing myself as I train. I quickly went numb, followed by an adrenaline rush.

Recommendation: I recommend the practice but not in the evening because the adrenaline took some time to burn off and made it difficult to fall asleep.

Photo credit: Nomad_Soul, Adobe Stock, Chris Roussos