While it might not sound massively appealing to many people, submerging your body into cold water has a wide range of health benefits. Just ask Wim Hof.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming?
It’s not widely known however just what these benefits are, and why wild swimming is better for your mind, body and soul than a trip to your local leisure centre…
Improve Your Circulation And Reduce Stress
Exposing your body to cold water swimming activities is a great way to improve blood flow around the body. When placed in such situations, blood will rise to the surface to warm your extremities and, in turn, this will flush out your veins and arteries - allowing areas of your body to get more blood than they do normally.
A by-product of this process is a natural reduction in your stress levels. Not only does the cold water help to soothe tension across your body physically, but the peaceful nature of wild swimming, and its often breath-taking settings, allow us to disconnect from the stresses of day to day life and time into the simplest forms of nature again.
Reduces Inflammation And Enhances Recovery
Related slightly to the point above, the heightened blood flow generated by cold water swims can also help to reduce inflammation you might be harbouring in short or long-term injuries or conditions you have. Water gives us that weightless sensation, which is incredibly relieving on our joints.
The extra pumping of blood will aid the recovery of muscle fatigue or strains, which is why you see many professional athletes taking ice baths after a hard training session. It replenishes and reloads the body to train hard again the next day!
Jump Start Your Metabolism And Mentality
Swimming in open water will give your metabolism a kick like nothing else. Swimming in cold water makes your body work harder to keep warm, which increases the number of calories you burn. Colder water makes your body burn more energy to keep your core temperature at a steady and acceptable level. This fires up your metabolism like coals would a steam engine.
Mentally you become stronger too. The challenge of simply entering an uncomfortable situation by choice enhances your resilience and fortitude. Once your body adjusts and you become comfortable in the water, you will start to feel more relaxed than you ever could in an indoor pool. And when leaving the water after an open swim, the satisfaction of getting warm releases endorphins like nothing else.
I hope this article has tempted you to give open water swimming a try, it really is a life-changing hobby that suits all ages.