Winter swimming can be hard to do.
The thought of cold water may make you want to curl back up in bed and hibernate for a few months.
But as it turns out, there are TONS of reasons to get out there and take a plunge in the frigid, icy pool.
Need a release of endorphins? Winter swimming may be the fix you are looking for.
Keeping your body healthy through exercise is already going to produce some endorphins, but this goes beyond just that…
The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin.
These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression.
Evidence shows that winter swimmers may be less susceptible to contracting certain diseases.
Particularly those diseases that target the respiratory system. The incidence of infectious diseases affecting the upper respiratory tract is 40% lower among winter swimmers when compared to a control group.
Short term exposure of the whole body to cold water produces oxidative stress, which makes winter swimmers develop improved antioxidative protection
So, if you are wanting a little extra protection, you may want to consider swimming more in the winter or in non-heated pools.
When your body is regularly exposed to cold water, it gives your immunes system some exercise.
When you take a dip in the icy water, the body sees this severe temperature change as a physical attack. The reaction that occurs gives your body good practice.
It’s kind of like specialized training for your immune system while simultaneously training your muscles as you swim. Both are strengthened.
Scientists from the Czech Republic immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system.
Didn’t I tell you?
There are tons of reasons to “just keep swimming” through the winter.
Now, remember to take your Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle with you to get your mind off the temperature. The music will help you through the initial shock when you dive in.
If you have any tips or suggestions to add, please leave them in the comment section below.