Why You Should Try Ice Swimming?

The practice of plunging into freezing cold water has been gaining more attention in recent years. This is an activity that takes place in unheated pools or natural pools or lakes. Individuals who take part in this sport will break through the thick layer of ice to uncover the frigid waters for people to bathe in. Alternatively, you can choose a spot where a spring enters the body of water and prevents ice from forming.

How cold is too cold?

If you are not careful, intensely cold water could kill you in just a few short minutes. Most people will experience a phenomenon called cold shock when they are exposed to waters between the temperature of 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. This response is characterized by a loss of breathing control. People who bathe in cold waters like this who are not used to the temperatures will often begin to hyperventilate.

When the temperatures begin to dip below 4.5 degrees Celsius you may experience physical pain as you enter into the water. As the cold water touches your skin you will notice a stinging, burning sensation. However, with repeated exposure, most people begin to build a tolerance to these extreme temperatures. If you are physically fit and adventurous this may just be the perfect hobby for you. Just make sure you consult with your doctor before you take the first plunge. The cold water causes your blood pressure to rise. If you already have an issue with your blood pressure it may be dangerous.

Are there any benefits?

Although this activity can be incredibly challenging for your body the numerous benefits associated with it will make it all worthwhile. This is one of the most effective activities to release endorphins in your body. Not only are you exercising but the cold water sends messages to your brain to boost the production of this hormone to combat the effects of the cold. This rush of hormones will help to boost your overall happiness while decreasing your risk of developing depression.

Another excellent benefit that you will notice when you begin this practice is that it may help to boost your overall health. A research study conducted by Collier found that people who bathe in icy waters on a regular basis are far less likely to catch a cold than those people who do not engage in the sport at all. It also seemed to indicate that these individuals experience less frequent upper respiratory infections than other individuals.

Another study conducted by Tipton indicates that frequent exposure to waters that are below freezing temperatures could help your immune system to function more effectively. However, the effects of the cold water could have varying effects on the human body. It all depends on other environmental factors. Cold water exposure combined with strong winds could have a fatal effect on the human body. To remain safe during your icy dips make sure that you are choosing days that are sunny and free from wind.