Believe it or not, swimming in cold water comes with a lot of health benefits. It can be an exciting activity that will increase your adrenaline making you energetic and dynamic.
However, you need to be really careful because doing it wrong can inflict several negative side effects.
In this article, we will explain how to do swim in a cold water the proper way in order to get all of the benefits.
Advantages of cold water swimming
- Immunity booster
According to several scientists from the Czech Republic, the cold water can really improve your immune system. They have conducted a study where several subjects swam in a cold water for an hour three times per week.
Their overall health was monitored and they determined that the immune system was boosted. This happens because the body was learning how to activate the defense system which means an improvement of the immunity. That is why many people who swim in cold water never get sick.
- Improved blood circulation
It is scientifically proven that your body can easily adapt to cold weather if it is exposed to it over and over again. Therefore, the blood circulation of the system will be improved. Swimming in cold water will do the same effect and the blood will be circulating through your veins, arteries, and capillaries.
It is recorded that the heart rate can be increased by 50% and the blood pressure can rise to 176/94. If you are healthy, this won’t cause any damage to your heart, but instead, it will keep it healthy and strong.
- Endorphins production
Because of the fact that the cold-water acts as a stimulant for the parasympathetic nervous system, it helps with the repair and rest. After the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, your body starts producing endorphin-serotonin and dopamine.
These elements are actually neurotransmitters that will improve your mood and will remove any signs of depression and stress. If you have ever swum in cold water, you probably had the feeling of being alive.
- Improved libido
We don’t know if you are aware of this, but traditionally, cold water has been used as a therapy to remove any sexual urge and tension. However, the libido can be raised by swimming in cold water because it will increase the testosterone production in men and the estrogen production in women.
This will result in improved self-esteem, mood and confidence.
- Defeat stress and depression
Improving your mood can be a really hard thing to do, and swimming in cold water can really help you. As you are swimming in cold water, you will be becoming stronger and more energetic. It is proven that this will lead to relaxation and less stress.
Also, when you want to take a swim in cold water, you will probably have to go to the nearest lake or river, which opens the possibility to enjoy the nature. Automatically, this will improve your mood and will remove any signs of stress and depression.
- Burns fat and improves metabolism
While swimming in cold water, the heart will start working faster and your system will use a lot of energy to keep you warm. Therefore, this inflicts improved circulation and metabolism in order to create heat just to keep the body warm. As a result, you will be burning calories much more significantly when compared to swimming in a water that is warm and comfortable.
- Soothes pain
Due to the improved blood circulation in your system, the cold water will heal the irritated regions of your body faster and more effective.
Tips and Precautions
- Warm-up – it is essential to warm up your body and make your heart pump faster before swimming in cold water. You can try stretching, jogging or hopping.
- If a part of your body stiffs, you need to stretch – before warming up, you need to stretch your body especially if a body part feels tight.
- Blow out bubbles – enter in the cold water up to your waist, bend down and blow bubbles with your mouth. Hold on for at least 20 seconds and repeat the process in order to control the rate of your heart.
- Never jump directly in the water – make sure that you slowly wet yourself before getting in the water. Jumping directly in cold water can lead to hypothermia which is a deadly condition.
- Train to maintain longer in water – you can do several pieces of training in order to improve the time of staying in cold water. If the water is below 21-degree Celsius (70-degrees F), you can remain in the water for at least one minute.
- Swim in cold water at least 4 times per week – it is important to acclimatize, and therefore, you need to have several training sessions per week. Try making them last for at least 20 minutes and you will make your body acclimate. Keep in mind that you need to get out of the water if you feel issues with your breathing or if your body gets blue or white.
- Train with an ice bath – you don’t have to start directly in a lake or river. You can simply add ice to your bath and check the temperature. You can soak in the water as long as you want if you don’t feel any pain at all.
- Use hot beverage and clothing after swimming in cold water – never enter a sauna or a hot shower after swimming in cold water.
Gear that can help you
- Head cap – you need to protect your head and with the help of the cap, you will keep the heat inside your head.
- Swimming suit, socks, and gloves
- Earplugs – they can help you with the retention of the heat.
- Wear a full – body wetsuit if you are planning to swim in cold water that is below 21-degrees Celsius.
- Wear thick wetsuits – if you know the temperature of the water, it is better to find a certain wetsuit that will protect you while swimming.