There’s nothing quite like a brisk swim in the ocean to make you feel alive, but it’s no secret that the British waters aren’t exactly Mediterranean in temperature. So here are 10 reasons why swimming in cold water is good for you.
1. It makes you feel good
Cold water swimming might not sound like the ideal early morning activity (our long hooded tops and tunics are great for warming you up afterwards), but that sudden change in temperature releases lots of endorphins. Endorphins are produced to make us feel good, so you’ll step out of that water feeling on a high.
2. It’s great exercise
Not everyone likes to go for a jog around the park, so finding something different to do is a great way of encouraging us to exercise (especially when we know we should). Swimming has less heavy impact on the body so is a good all-round activity.
3. Boosts your immune system
The shock of a dip in cold water encourages your body to boost the number of white blood cells it produces. Over time, your body becomes even better at activating the immune system.
4. Improves your circulation
As soon as you head into that cold water, your heart pumps faster and forces blood to the surface, flushing your veins and arteries. The more you do it, the quicker your body adapts itself to the cold, making it easier to step into that ocean every time.
5. Reduces stress
During cold water swimming your body is working hard to keep you warm, so when you step out you feel more relaxed – an immediate stress reducer. As well as this, if you’re quite a busy person mentally, when you’re swimming all your brain can focus on is how cold you are. It gives your mind a break away from all those long to-do lists or overhanging troubles. We’d certainly never turn down that opportunity!
6. Assists with depression
Exercise has long been encouraged to help with depression. The release of endorphins with cold water swimming can become quite addictive, giving you such a high and sense of alertness for the rest of the day. Trying to get out of a lethargic state is one of the hardest things to do and this activity is the perfect way to challenge yourself and pull you out of a slump.
7. A new found confidence
Stepping in that water might make you feel uncomfortable and take a lot of courage to do so. But, once you’ve done it, you’ll have such a confidence boost. This increases the levels of oestrogen and testosterone in the body, which gives you higher levels of self-esteem and puts you in a great mood.
8. It soothes sore muscles
Athletes around the world are well known for taking ice baths to help with muscle recovery. Swimming in cold water has the same effect. Your body is busy trying to keep your core warm, giving a chance for your muscles to recover.
9. It helps you sleep
Exercise alone is a great way to tire you out, but cold water swimming also triggers the nervous system. It helps your body rest and repair itself, which often then leads to a better night’s sleep. If you go cold water swimming regularly, you should find you have a better sleeping pattern overall.
10. Meeting new people
There are lots of groups out there dedicated to meeting up and going for a swim in the cold water. Such a unique activity is a wonderful way to bring people together and ultimately make new friends. A simple search in Google will find your nearest group.
With all these benefits, we think swimming in cold water is something everyone should try. Make sure you stay safe, listen to your body and take along some warm clothes to wrap up in afterwards. Why not give it a go today – there’s a whole ocean out there waiting for you!