As a semi-retired entrepreneur, Taylor’s personal schedule always allowed him to find time for health-improving activities, such as weight lifting and aerobic exercise. When he discovered PLUNJ in Provo, Taylor easily decided to make it a part of his regular schedule — for the health benefits and maybe even more so for the social aspect.
Several years ago, when Health Spas used to be popular, he spent a lot of time in the saunas, steam rooms, eucalyptus rooms, whirlpools, and ice baths. At the end of a good workout, it always felt invigorating for him to sit in a hot whirlpool for fifteen minutes and then jump into the ice bath. The best part to Taylor was at the end where he could lie on a reclining pool chair and float away.
“After the Health Spas died out, I lost the opportunity to regularly enjoy heat and cold exposure,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t until I viewed a National Geographic Channel series called Limitless with Chris Hemsworth that my desire to re engage in heat and cold exposure was kindled.”
Taylor began doing research on DIY cold plunge projects, but he hit a roadblock as he searched for a practical solution for the heat, namely a dry sauna that was a minimum of 175°F. His additional hesitation resulted from the reality of needing to build a sauna at home that could cost him ten to twenty thousand dollars, not including all the upkeep and utility costs.
“That’s when I stumbled across PLUNJ online,” he said. “Even though the location is about twenty-five minutes from where I live, it seemed like the perfect solution to what I was looking for. Kind of a flashback to the old Health Spas of the past.”
After his first appointment at PLUNJ, Taylor was hooked! “Sliding into the coldest plunge was indeed a shock, but after a few visits, it turned into something I began to crave,” he said.
From there, Taylor began to do more research on the benefits of heat and cold exposure. The information source he found most helpful and enlightening is “Huberman Lab,” a podcast hosted by Dr. Andrew D. Huberman, a neuroscientist and associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.
“When I first started, I tried to squeeze in three rounds of heat/cold/rest during my one hour stay," Taylor said. "For me, it was too rushed. I found that reducing my session to just two rounds of heat/cold/rest was much more relaxing and enjoyable.”
Taylor has also changed how he approaches the length of time spent in the sauna and cold plunge. He used to stay twenty to twenty-five minutes in the sauna, but now he bases his stay on the increase of his heart rate. He monitors it and leaves the sauna once his heart rate increases to over 110 bpm. Sometimes this happens sooner and sometimes later.
As for the cold plunge, Taylor says it was a little bit of a competition or ego thing to advertise to others that it’s no big deal for him to stay in the coldest plunge for four to five minutes. But he’s changed this approach as well. He stays in the plunge until he starts to shiver, which he has learned provides health benefits. Putting his hands under water helps accelerate his shivering. When he gets out, he doesn’t dry off but stays wet while he rests to encourage his body to warm up on its own. The change of approach has taught him the important principle of listening to his body.
“All I can tell you is that I always feel great after my session,” Taylor said. “I love the clarity of thought I experience, the awesome sleep I get, and my increased energy and metabolism. It’s now a part of my regular workout regimen that I do not want to miss. I try to attend a session at least three times per week and sometimes go more than that.”
In addition to the mental and physical health benefits, Taylor says there’s another enjoyable benefit PLUNJ offers – the people! He loves the staff and appreciates their kindness and the way they seek to ensure guests’ experience is invigorating and memorable. Taylor has also made friends with other PLUNJ guests.
“I just love to meet new people and have great conversations in the sauna. When others are there and we get to know each other, time flies by. The social aspect of PLUNJ is equally important in my book,” Taylor said.
Taylor recently booked the space for two hours so his family members could experience it too. He hopes they get hooked like he has. “As far as I’m concerned, PLUNJ has a customer for life!”