So, you love swimming! You prefer to swim in the summer (don’t we all), but simply cannot resist the urge to jump in any and all bodies of water, at any time of year any longer. Join the Poko Swim Club as we take a Polar Bear Dip with our newest towel styles, and learn the benefits of cold water swimming.
The benefits associated with swimming in cold water:
- Swimming in ice-cold water has been shown to have a positive effect on mental state and can even be anti-depressive
- Several studies have described a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular risk factors
- AND, lastly, there is rising evidence that winter swimmers are more resistant to certain illnesses and infections, experiencing them less frequently and more mildly
Though cold water swimming has been practiced for hundreds of years in northern countries such as Norway, Denmark and the like, it has fairly recently been popularized in the UK and is known as “Wild Swimming”. We love this, it speaks to both the connection with nature and the little bit of wildness you feel after stepping out of the water.
Now, cold water swimming definitely isn’t for everyone, but weI can confirm that after a dip in cold water you will feel rejuvenated. Ecstatic. Energized and grateful. Definitely give it a try if your interest is piqued even mildly.
SO, how do you start?
Here are 3 things you can do to clear a path of least resistance between you and that sweet, cold, H2O.
1. Find the right place.
Bodies of water can be notoriously dangerous in the winter months so I would steer clear of wide, quick-moving rivers. Find a place you know you can get in and out safely and make a visit before taking the leap.
2. Bring a friend.
Besides it being infinitely more safe to have someone around, having someone there who will motivate you to just get in will make the experience more enjoyable. Even if your buddy doesn’t want to get in, they can hold your towel and bring a hot drink!
Whether you find cold water horrible or energizing, whether you expect a winter swim to leave you buzzing or miserable, is a large determining factor in what happens when you enter the water. The one thing we know for sure is people can train themselves to like it, if they believe.
You can buy neoprene socks and gloves to keep your feet and hands warmer, and it’s helpful to try acclimatizing in your bath or shower several times a week if you insist on trying out the real thing mid-winter.
If you want to swim through winter it is easier to start (in Canada) in the early Autumn when the water is 16 degrees celsius or above, and then keep on swimming as the temperature drops and until the water freezes over.
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