Benefits of a Cold Swim
Ice Ice Baby!
I grew up in a tropical climate. To say I’ve experienced cold weather is a stretch. So when my husbands lovely Danish Aunt Eva told me she swims in the ocean year round, I was shocked. The water in Northern Europe is COLD! But according to Aunt Eva, cold swims keep her healthy.
There is a lot of research that backs up the health benefits of a cold swim. I wish the same were true with a warm swim 🙂 But as the saying goes, no pain no gain.
So here are some of the positive side effects from taking a dip in icy water.
Lymphatic Circulation – The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and vital component of the immune system. It helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The heart does not pump the lymphatic system, so it relies on muscle contractions. Cold water causes lymph vessels to contract. This forces lymphatic fluid to flow through the body and flush out waste.
Reduces Inflammation – Cold water causes blood vessels to constrict and lowers the temperature of damaged tissue which reduces swelling and inflammation. It can also numb nerve endings to bring instant pain relief.
Increased Endorphin Levels – When pain is experienced, our body releases endorphins to help us cope. Cold water activates our pain barrier, so extra “feel good chemicals” are released.
Weight Loss – Cold water has been shown to burn more calories and increase metabolism. The heart pumps faster and the body works harder to keep us warm.
Increased Libido – Cold water increases your body’s production of estrogen and testosterone.
Will you take the plunge?