Fancy a dip? Sure it’s great on a warm sunny day. But, how about going for an early morning swim in winter? Some of us get goosebumps just thinking about it, for others though, it’s a lovely idea.
If you’ve never heard of it before, cold water swimming is actually a thing. So, what is it exactly? And, are the benefits worth it? Keep reading to find out.
It used to be an endurance sport only attempted by athletes. Now, this growing trend is gaining momentum with all sorts of brave individuals. Including popularity with menopausal women.
Cold Water Swimming Explained
If you’re happily hopping into water that most people find polar, then you’re doing cold water swimming. The parameters aren’t too specific, anything below 15°C is generally acceptable. It has to be swimming when the water temperatures are chilly enough to challenge your body.
So why is cold water swimming becoming so popular?
It makes you feel really good apparently. You are brought close to the pain barrier, so your body releases endorphins to cope. Some people say it eases anxiety and depression, others report feelings of euphoria.
Your immune system is boosted when your body has to adapt to a different environment. This increases white blood cell production. Testing your body gives it the opportunity to work its natural defences. Think of it as strengthening the fitness of your immune system.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that cold water swimming alleviates the symptoms of menopause. Scientists are finding this difficult to prove. However, many women are taking enthusiastic doses of this self-prescribed treatment.
These are just a few benefits of cold water swimming. Others include improved circulation, fertility, and libido. As well as calorie-burning, lowered stress levels, and a bonding experience for friendships.
Tips for Dips
There are a few things to consider when deciding if you should partake in cold water swimming. You need to prepare your body. Exposing yourself to cold water shock isn’t safe.
Build your cold water exposure by swimming regularly in summer. Continue your swimming routine through autumn and into winter. This allows your body time to adapt to extreme temperature changes.
Start with simple, easy challenges of short duration. Go with a friend, buddying-up is recommended. Then warm up slowly afterwards.
Don’t push yourself to stay in too long. Listen to your body. Short cold water dips are good and fun, long hypothermic laps are bad and sad.
Cold water swimming can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone. It challenges you, tests your limits, and done right can bring a host of benefits to your mind and body.
Is it worth it? That’s for you to decide. If you do take the plunge, please let us know! And, if you need any advice on your swimming pool, you can contact us here.