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The Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming & The Risks

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The Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming & The Risks

Stay Safe While Enjoying The Many Benefits Of Outdoor Swimming

Luke Green | 2020-01-30 14:47:00 +0000

Cold water swimming is a commonly overlooked watersport and at first glance, you can see why. After all, even amongst those who love being out on the water as much as we do, the thought of voluntarily plunging yourself into cold water does not come naturally. Despite this, there’s been a noticeable increase in the popularity of cold water swimming, thanks in part to the ever-increasing awareness of cold water swimming’s various health benefits.

As people who need a little encouragement when it comes to getting into cold water, we thought we’d do our readers and ourselves a favour by taking a look at just 4 ways cold water swimming can improve an individual’s health.

Boosts Physical Fitness

The most obvious benefit of cold water swimming is one that it shares with regular swimming, improved fitness. Swimming is an excellent way to get a full-body workout coupled with cardio, all while avoiding placing increased stress and strain on the joints. If you’ve ever taken an accidental dip in the water on a winter’s day you know how it can take your breath away and make it harder to catch your breath at all. Combine this with the regular cardiovascular workout of swimming and you’ll quickly notice the increased effectiveness.

Increase & Improve Circulation

 Swimming in cold water makes your heart beat faster and stronger, increasing your blood flow. This increased blood flow has a number of benefits, such as reducing pain by allowing inflamed areas to heal more quickly, as well as ‘flushing’ your blood vessels helping rid your entire body of impurities. By repeatedly exposing yourself to low-temperature water your body will start to acclimate itself to it increasing your blood flow in colder temperatures all the time. 

Promotes Wellness

Wellness can be an odd thing to quantify, but it basically all comes down to how you feel psychologically. It consists of things like stress, anxiety, happiness, and calmness along with a whole host of other factors. Keeping them balanced and under control can go a long way to making sure you stay happy and healthy. Taking some time out of your day to visit a local lake or the sea can give you a much-needed break from the hectic life most people lead. There have been a number of studies linking cold water with stress reduction and combining the mental health benefits with the physical benefits can be a big boost to your quality of life.

Supports The Immune System

The way we live our lives is becoming increasingly sterile and while this may be a good thing overall, it can leave your immune system ill-equipped to effectively deal with illnesses. By exposing yourself to the cold and nature in general, you will be put into contact with more germs. As long as you warm up appropriate afterwards and are up to date on your vaccinations this will strengthen your immune system over time, making you more resistant to coughs and colds and giving you faster recovery times against other illnesses.

... But Is Cold Water Swimming Dangerous?

Even with all its associated health benefits, it’s always important to remember that there are inherent risks with cold water swimming. Of course, all the dangers that are present when out on the water with any other activity still apply to any swimming that you do. You have to maintain caution around your own tiredness and should always have someone who knows where you are and what time you are expected back as well as a way to contact someone in the event of an accident. When cold water swimming, however, you will also need to acclimatise yourself to spending long periods of time in cold water as well as ensuring you can warm up safely and reliably once you leave the water.

Fortunately, Red Original have some products that can help you with a lot of the issues that you might face. Keep your personal effects safe and dry with the Waterproof Pouch and help warm yourself up with the Red Original Outdoor Pro Change Robe available for men and women. This all-weather changing robe allows you to get changed without exposing yourself to the elements, keeping you warm and dry in all conditions while doubling as a waterproof jacket. We also offer a conveniently compact Airbelt Personal Flotation Device (PFD), which will allow you to swim unhindered but can be quickly deployed and inflated should you find yourself in trouble.

There are also common sense ways to ensure your safety without having to invest in any equipment at all. Telling someone where and when you intend on going is a standard watersport safety precaution, so you should definitely do so regardless of anything else. Swimming as part of a group is another point worth considering, as there will be others present who can help you should you start to struggle. Admittedly, finding a group of people who also want to go swimming in cold water may be a little challenging, so it might want to think about joining a swimming club to surround yourself with equally motivated people.

If you're looking for the ideal place to enjoy a spot of cold water swimming but aren't too sure where to go, check out this comprehensive outdoor swimming map sponsored by the Outdoor Swimming Society.

There are also common sense ways to ensure your safety without having to invest in any equipment at all. Telling someone where and when you intend on going is a standard watersport safety precaution, so you should definitely do so regardless of anything else. Swimming as part of a group is another point worth considering, as there will be others present who can help you should you start to struggle. Admittedly, finding a group of people who also want to go swimming in cold water may be a little challenging, so it might want to think about joining a swimming club to surround yourself with equally motivated people.

If you're looking for the ideal place to enjoy a spot of cold water swimming but aren't too sure where to go, check out this comprehensive outdoor swimming map sponsored by the Outdoor Swimming Society.


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