Benefits of Jumping Into Cold Water

Benefits of Jumping Into Cold Water

1) Stress reduction

2) Improved circulation, which can help with pain and stiffness

3) Improved immune system function.

4) Sharpens the mind, by making you more alert.

5) Coldwater immersion therapy might be useful to treat depression or reduce blood pressure.

6) It makes the body healthier by stimulating its natural response to cold.  (it triggers a phenomenon known as ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – this is where your fat cells start to convert into larger amounts of energy.)

7) It boosts metabolism and helps weight loss by encouraging lean muscle mass development.

8)Helps heal injuries faster (extreme cold will numb the body’s nerve endings, reducing pain).

9) It’s just fun

10) Helps you push yourself further in both training and competition, by helping your body to adapt to extreme conditions.

11)  It can help prevent muscle cramps and spasms in the days and weeks after a session in cold water.

12) Cold showers activate brown fat cells which increases your metabolism and energy expenditure – so it also helps weight loss by burning calories.

13) Boosts circulation, leading to better skin health (including improving cellulite).

14-15) Increases testosterone levels & growth hormone release. (The key is to do workouts for short periods of time.) You need 10 minutes or less depending on how long you stay underwater. After that, you will start to lose benefits.

16) Helps you recover faster after workouts because the cold water helps the body flush out lactic acid build-up in muscles.

17) It can be an invigorating way to start the day (cold water is better than caffeine for waking up).

18) cold showers are good for symptoms of eczema & psoriasis.

19) Muscle growth – increasing your muscle mass will improve your metabolism and burn more fat, even at rest. This has been confirmed by numerous studies.  (Dr. James Wethelbel, who works with Olympic athletes says that cold exposure causes the hypothalamus gland to release a hormone that stimulates white blood cells;

these then produce two other hormones; one of which stimulates the production of a substance called glutathione, which plays an important role in preventing muscle damage from intense exercise.

20) Cold water will help you relax and improve your mood by stimulating the release of natural ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin & dopamine; while suppressing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

21) Helps with weight loss –  it can boost metabolism while improving insulin function (which is key for energy storage).

22) Immune system boost – cold water immersion helps stimulate immune cell activity, making them more effective against infections. And it also triggers white blood cells to release more anti-inflammatory cytokines (a family of proteins), leading to lower inflammation throughout the body. Increases in these cytokines have been linked to faster wound healing.

23) Coldwater and air can stimulate and normalize the hypothalamic-pituitary function, thus helping with the regulation of hormones that play a major role in stress tolerance.

24) Boost Your Energy – You can jump into cold water say for 10 minutes and it will give you more energy than taking a shot of caffeine,

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26) Helps with acne because the cold water helps with circulation which is key for improving skin health.

27) cold showers improve blood circulation in your brain, thus sharpening mental function and enhancing your mood.

28) Jumping into cold water after a workout (when your muscles are warm and expanded) allows your muscles to contract and return to their usual shape faster; this decreases muscle soreness and also helps prevent injury.

29) Cold water will help you supplement amino acids into your body and allow it to be used more efficiently in the production of ATP (the main form of chemical energy for most organisms).

30) It boosts immunity – cold exposure (like taking a cold shower) triggers the body’s natural defense mechanisms and increases immune system strength, especially against influenza and other respiratory infections.

31) Cold showers can minimize PMS symptoms by stimulating the release of endorphins & oxytocin; which may help regulate hormonal surges that come with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

32) It makes you look younger – research suggests that repeated acute cold stress can increase anti-aging genes like heat shock proteins and growth factors, which delay the onset of the aging process.

Pros and cons of swimming in cold water:

People want to know why cold water swimming is so wonderful, but I think this question is the wrong way around. Why would you swim in uncomfortable cold water, when you could swim in nice warm comfortable water instead? If I didn’t like it or benefit from it then I wouldn’t do it. It’s not the sort of thing that appeals to everyone, and each person will find their own limits.

A “con” for me might be my reaction to certain foods (mostly seafood), headaches (I only get these when my sinuses are blocked with cold mucus), or dental pain (from grinding my teeth). All things considered though, I’d rather take the cons than give up the pros!

The most important thing is to avoid getting chilled after you leave the water. This will put you at greater risk of hypothermia for any swim. Even if you don’t feel cold it will still sap your energy and alter your thought processes, which could be very dangerous if something goes wrong during the swim. And, if you do get chilled afterward, then this could be a bad thing.

Coldwater swimming tips:

– Choose a swim that is close enough to the water’s surface that you don’t need to fight strong currents.

– Don’t swim far from shore, and not too deep out (the point at which your feet no longer touch the bottom should be about waist depth).

– Choose a day with calm weather conditions. No side winds or bumpy cross waves.

– If it’s windy, choose an area where the wind will push you back towards the shore once you get past the midpoint. The best direction is into a side wind if there is one (for example south into a southerly breeze and north into a northeasterly breeze).

If there isn’t then take whichever way seems calmer and more likely to give you a smooth ride. It is usually easier swimming into the wind rather than with it.

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Physiology of cold water swimming:

Coldwater swimming is very different from swimming in warm water. The physiological changes that take place are what make cold water so dramatic and sometimes dangerous. Swimming in cold conditions will reduce your performance by speeding up the rate at which you heat up, and depleting your energy reserves (glycogen) more quickly.

Negative effects of swimming in cold water:

Coldwater swimming can affect your body, including some undesirable effects. But these negative effects of cold water swimming are no worse than the positive effects of cold water swimming listed above.

Swimming in cold water will slow your heart rate and reduce blood flow to your limbs. You may feel like you can’t work as hard (you’re using less energy) but this isn’t true, because it takes more energy to swim slowly (and maintain a high stroke rate).

If you find yourself getting out of breath then remember that this is likely caused by hyperventilation – breathing too quickly or deeply – rather than by effort. It is also more tiring to swim with a fast stroke rate in cold water than it would be if you were wearing a wetsuit.

– Your blood may become more concentrated with red cells (with a greater concentration of hemoglobin) which is due to the body’s attempt to reduce heat loss by reducing the amount of water in your limbs. This happens in cold water swimming because less blood will be needed in your core and more at your extremities where most of the heat is lost.

This also makes it more likely that you’ll get dizzy or feel faint when standing up after a swim. But this doesn’t mean you need to panic, it just means that something is happening inside your body in response to external conditions, and it means there might be some extra strain on your heart for 20 minutes or so afterward while this adaptation takes place.

Benefits of cold water dipping:

It’s important to maintain training during the winter months, but it can be difficult to do specific workouts that involve swimming. Swimming in cold water is an excellent way of maintaining good levels of fitness and maintaining your ‘feel for the water’.

The benefits are increased flexibility (due to muscle contraction), improved muscle tone (because you need to contract muscles harder in colder conditions), improved circulation (increased blood flow), and aerobic conditioning (from shivering alone).

Hazards associated with cold-weather swimming:

The main hazard of cold water swimming is hypothermia. It should always be remembered that because our bodies aren’t designed for this kind of temperature, they will usually give us clear signs when they’re becoming too cold – like numb fingers and toes, and cold shivering. If these signs are ignored then hypothermia is likely to occur within a very short space of time.

Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature that causes the body’s metabolism to slow down by as much as 80%, which can be fatal. The most common symptom of hypothermia is uncontrollable shivering. In mild cases, this can lead to greater resistance to other ailments (like flu), but in more severe cases it can lead to heart failure.

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Another danger associated with swimming in cold water is attempting long swims before your body has become used to the shock of the cold conditions. This could result in hyperventilation – breathing too quickly or – which could cause you to faint. This is more likely to happen in cold water because the body’s response includes increasing your rate of breathing by up to 40%.

Hyperventilation also occurs in cold water, probably due to the shock of cold water breathing techniques or swimming with a fast stroke rate. It can be difficult to inhale without hyperventilating when the mouth is submerged underwater, which makes this even more likely.

Frostbite is another hazard. The temperature on the surface of your skin can be as low as 10 degrees Celsius, but even colder temperatures can exist deeper in the body if it isn’t protected by a wet suit. A good way to avoid this is to apply liberal amounts of Vaseline or other lube before a swim and afterward too if you’re going into a really cold environment.

There are only two ways to protect yourself from frostbite: keeping warm and keeping dry. If you notice any sign of skin turning white then get out immediately!

If you experience numbness, tingling, headaches, nausea, cramps, or flu-like symptoms after swimming in cold water then make sure you warm up slowly with gentle exercise (such as walking or swimming in a warm bath).

– Hypothermia and hyperventilation can also affect the mind, so you should be extremely cautious if you’re planning to swim alone. You might not think that your judgment is impaired because of cold water immersion – but it definitely will be!

It’s always best to swim with someone else at first until you learn what your capabilities are. If you don’t have anyone else around then make sure there is somebody who knows where you are, and when they can expect to hear from you.

Coldwater swimming depression:

After a really cold swim, it’s normal to feel not just physically exhausted but emotionally and psychologically drained too. A sense of depression and hopelessness is common because the body has been pushed to its absolute limit, which can affect your motivation levels for weeks afterward.

There is also evidence that shows changes in the brain associated with this kind of exposure to cold water, as well as neurological activity producing feelings of euphoria – so you could start off feeling miserable and come out feeling on top of the world!

I think this is a good thing though because if you didn’t feel these things then you’d probably be detached from your body and its needs. So I personally see cold water swimming as a form of therapy, except without the therapist!

– A really important factor that affects how we deal with cold water swimming is our own attitude to it – particularly our ‘expectations about what might happen. In other words, there’s no point expecting to have a bad time – because more often than not you’re going to have an amazing experience!

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