Winter usually puts most people in the mood for cuddling in front of a crackling fire with a tall glass of red wine or a steamy cup of hot cocoa. For most people, diving willingly into a pool of icy water seems insane. Afterall, why get cold when you can bury yourself in a pile of blankets and be a couch potato?
Although winter swimming might sound silly and extremely chilly, it has many health benefits which can improve quality of life and even increase life expectancy. On top of that, you can expect better fitness and a boost in energy. Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman”, a Dutch extreme athlete who withstands freezing temperatures, confirms that cold therapy can be beneficial for your mental and physical health. He practises the Wim Hof Method which keeps him, and others all around the world, happy and healthy.
Find out more about the Wim Hof Method here.
The cold will be a shock to your system, which will clear your mind. Even if you adjust the temperature of your morning shower for just 30 seconds, you’ll experience clearer thoughts and improved memory.
Your body stores two types of fat: brown and white. Brown fat is the “good” fat which converts food into body heat. Cold water activates your brown fat, which means that you burn calories and shed some excess weight.
According to Rude Health’s Outdoor Swimming Society, swimming in cold water increases blood flow throughout the body, which in turn helps improve circulation allowing inflamed areas to heal more quickly, thereby reducing pain. The same principle can be applied by alternatively bathing an injured area in hot and cold water, the difference is, not only is this method more fun, you’ll hopefully avoid injury in the first place altogether.
Stress is the modern killer of mankind. It makes you feel sluggish and irritated. Cold water swimming decreases stress levels. Cold water bathers are naturally calmer and more relaxed making them more agile in the face of adversity.
According to research published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, regular cold water immersion helps boost your body’s levels of the antioxidant glutathione, which in turn helps regulate the process of all other antioxidants in the body, reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Now that we’ve informed you about the benefits of taking an icy dip, are you ready to participate in the 4th annual dotsure.co.za Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, 27 July 2019 in Victoria Bay, George? We’ll be plunging to collect 1,000 blankets for pets and people in need.
Pledge to take the plunge here: PBP 2019 entry form
Show us your brrr-ave side and spread the warmth this winter!