When you think of going for a dip in your swimming pool, you probably think about hot summer days and a beautifully warm pool?
However, cold swimming can be a unique and exhilarating experience. Its popularity has increased hugely since evidence has proven just how good it is for you.
And whilst most people are put off, not just by the cold, but also the remote location of rivers, lakes and the sea, not to mention their cleanliness, your pool can be used all year round, with the right preparation and maintenance.
Cold swimming is a great way to boost your immune system. When your body is exposed to cold water, it activates a stress response that triggers the release of anti-inflammatory proteins and other immune-boosting compounds. This can help to reduce inflammation in the body, increase white blood cell production, and improve overall immune function.
In addition, cold swimming can also be a great way to improve circulation and cardiovascular health. When your body is exposed to the cold, your blood vessels constrict, increasing blood flow to the heart and improving circulation, leading to all around better health.
Of course, it’s important to approach cold swimming with caution and to take appropriate safety precautions. If you’re thinking of, quite literarily, taking the plunge, here’s some useful things to consider:
1. Start slowly
If you’re not used to swimming in cold water start slow and let your body acclimatise. Begin by exposing more and more of your body to the water, starting with your toes and gradually work your way in.
Only swim for short periods at the start, and build up your swim time over time as your body gets used to the cold.
2. Wear appropriate gear
When swimming in cold water, it’s important to wear appropriate gear to help keep your body and your extremities warm. Consider wearing a wetsuit, a swim cap, and neoprene gloves or boots, especially in the deep of winter or particularly cold weather.
3. Check your body temperature
Pay close attention to how your body is reacting to the cold water. If you start to feel too cold or experience symptoms such as shivering, numbness or any sort of disorientation, get out of the water quickly and warm up.
4. Stay hydrated
Finally, even though you might not feel thirsty when swimming in cold water, swimming, and particularly cold water swimming, does dehydrate you. Drink plenty of water before and after your swim.
5. Swim with someone else
Even in your own pool, always cold water swim with a family member or friend, or make sure you are observed at all times. If you get into difficulties, someone needs to be there to take the relevant action, in an emergency.
Cold swimming can be a unique and exhilarating experience, one that offers a range of health benefits and further expands the use and fun you can get from your pool.
By taking appropriate safety precautions and gradually acclimating your body, you can safely enjoy the invigorating benefits of swimming in cold water AND use your swimming pool, all year long!