Health Benefits of Swimming in Cold Water
I bet you looked at the picture above and thought there was no way you were going to swim with those people alongside snow. But while you may not need to swim in such frigid conditions, there are actually several benefits to swimming in cold water that you may not expect. So, if you’re considering taking the plunge, these benefits may be enough to get you to jump in!
Boosts Your Immune System
When you jump into cold water, your body sees it as a kind of “attack” on itself. While that may not sound like an inherently positive thing, there is nothing wrong with keeping your immune system on its toes. By giving it a metaphorical kick by swimming in cold water, you keep it at its best. And when your immune system is at its best, you won’t get sick as often!
Boosts Your Endorphins
Endorphins are your body’s little pleasure drugs that get released when doing certain activities. Many swimmers who take the plunge into cold water emerge feeling energized. The reason for that is the burst of endorphins their brains release after the shock of entering the cold water. Endorphins can be released when the body is in pain to cope with the shock, and cold water gets the body close to that point.
It’s a true, natural, high!
Boosts Your Circulation
Cold water causes the blood to rush to the internal organs, working your heart like a pump. If you’ve ever seen someone start in a sauna, roll in the snow, then return to the sauna and emerge looking like a million bucks, then you’ve seen an extreme case of what we’re describing in action. By boosting your circulation, you can flush impurities from your system all that much quicker.
Plus, if you are sensitive to the cold or an older person, you may find this benefit helps you enjoy the changing seasons all the more, as you will be more comfortable in colder weather.
Boosts Your Libido
It sounds like a joke, but it’s not! Dipping in cold water can actually increase testosterone and estrogen, resulting in an increased libido for men and women. Boosting the libido can also lead to increased confidence, better self-esteem, and improved mood.
Burns More Calories
Because your heart must beat faster and work harder to keep your body warm, you will burn more calories in colder water than you would swimming in warmer conditions. It’s no coincidence that those who swim in cold waters are generally thin.
Swimming in cold water is such a shock to your system that you may find yourself thinking about little else. This can be good, since it will take your mind away from the stresses in your life, such as worrying about the big test in a few days or whatever else has your stress up. With reduced stress comes an improved quality of life!