Six major health benefits to cold water swimming? Well, we know they exist because of studies into the health benefits of water in general. Many regular cold water swimmers have managed to increase both their life expectancy and overall quality of life.
On top of that, you can expect better fitness in general, along with all the benefits that come with being a fit and healthy human being. Just make sure you pair cold water swimming with a balanced diet.
If you want to improve your life on all fronts, think about taking a dip in your local cold water swimming pool. It will be one of the best decisions that you make. Here are six amazing health benefits of cold water swimming.
Like all the best journeys, the path to Wild Azur was born out of a learning curve that I have been on pretty much since childhood. To put you in the picture, I grew up on an abundance of sugar - Sugar Puffs, Frosties, Skips, soda streams, Cadburys chocolate bars - my diet consisted of sugar, sugar and yet more sugar back in the days when we had no idea just how harmful it was. I was an addict pure and simple and I couldn’t get enough of it!
1. It boosts your immune system
The effects of cold water on the immune system have been studied widely. Cold water helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. Over time, your body becomes better at mobilising its defences.
There’s a reason why so many people who participate in cold water swimming are rarely sick.
2. It gives you an endorphin high
Endorphins are what the brain produces to make us feel good about certain activities. Cold water swimming is a form of exercise, and exercise has been proven to treat depression. Cold water swimming brings us close to the pain barrier. Endorphins are released when we’re in pain to help us cope.
Cold water swimming is particularly helpful for endorphin release for this reason. Who can say no to a few extra endorphins?
3. It enhances your circulation
Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and pushes the cold downwards. In other words, it helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold.
In older and vulnerable people, this is essential. It helps them better cope during harsh winters. The seasons become less of a health risk and more enjoyable.
4. It increases your libido
Cold water was traditionally seen as a way to repress sexual urges. The fact is that it actually increases libido. A dip in some cold water boosts oestrogen and testosterone production, adding an edge to fertility and libido.
The benefits of increased libido include more confidence, higher self-esteem, and enhanced mood.
5. It burns more calories
The heart must pump faster and the body must work harder to keep everything warm while swimming in cold water. Overall, you will burn far more calories than swimming in hotter conditions. The idea that drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn may be a myth, but it’s a fact that cold water decreases your body temperature so much that the body has to act. It’s no coincidence that cold water swimmers are generally thin.
6. It reduces stress
Stress is a demon in the modern world. When stressful times come, we are woefully unprepared for them. Reducing stress means you will feel better, you will feel more optimistic, and you will be more resilient when stressful times come along.
Cold water swimming places stress on the body physically and mentally. Many studies have told us about the link between cold water and stress reduction. Cold water swimmers are naturally calmer and more relaxed. They are stronger in the face of adversity.
So... what do we say? Get into those winter pools!