This winter, ice swimming has clearly gained in popularity. The pandemic forced us to look for alternative methods of exercising and boosting our immune system. This is exactly why more and more people are plunging their bodies into ice-holes, which is good because cold baths taken outdoors are proven to have many positive effects not only on our health but also on the physical appearance.
It can’t be denied, the number of enthusiasts of cold winter swimming is constantly growing. Clearly, because of this year’s limited access to professional sports facilities, more and more people have taken up ice swimming. Luckily, this winter favors ice swimmers, there have been many novices that plunged into an ice-hole for the first time. What’s the point in submerging the body in cold water? Many scientific research prove that regular ice swimming has numerous health benefits. For example it:
- makes your body less reactive to stressors, mostly cold.
- boosts your immune system.
- positively influences the cardio-vascular system.
- improves circulation in a natural way.
- has a positive impact on joint mobility.
- alleviates some skin diseases.
- reduces joint pain.
Additionally, the cold bath reduces stress and contributes to increasing the level of endorphins in blood. Apart from all the health benefits, ice swimming works like the cryotherapy that is proven to improve physical appearance in an incredible way.
Ice-cold water and its benefits for skin
Firstly, cold baths or showers contribute to smoothing skin out and improving its suppleness. How does it happen? Rapid temperature changes boost circulation, which can be noticed by clear redness that appears almost instantly on the skin. Secondly, water gives a gentle message to the body and this in turn promotes lymphatic drainage – this makes skin not only less flabby but also it helps fight back cellulite. Clearly, this is a simple, painless and completely free skin treatment. Finally, ice swimming makes the heart beat faster and harder, and this in turn results in getting more blood supply in organs and tissues, which – of course – has a positive effect on skin.
How many pounds can you lose thanks to cold swimming?
Once again, while you swim in cold water your blood vessels constrict immediately which sets off the stress response of your body – it increases your metabolism. When you get out of the ice-hole, the blood vessels slowly start enlarging, so in order not to lose heat, the body must start to warm itself up – and this consumes energy (i.g. fat deposits), too! In general, dipping your body in cold winter water is connected with higher energy expenditure which helps you lose weight. To conclude, during the winter swimming season you can lose a few pounds – those who regularly plunge their bodies into cold water say that it’s possible to lose even 10 lbs!
Other benefits of winter swimming
As you can see, exposing the body to cold water during winter has plenty of benefits both for the skin and health. It’s more than just a free leisure activity available almost for everyone for free. However, before deciding to give winter swimming a try, it’s suggested making sure whether it’s safe for your body to be exposed to such extreme temperatures. What are the contraindications to winter swimming? Luckily, the list of conditions is short and includes for example: circulatory system disorders, cardio-vascular diseases, epilepsy and high blood pressure.
If you don’t suffer from any of the listed conditions, you are free to plunge yourself into the cold winter water. It’s also worth realizing that winter swimming motivates you to outdoor exercising – before submerging your body in cold water, you must do some warm up for approximately 10-15 minutes. Last but not least, this activity is a great opportunity to meet new people, have a great time together, overcome your own fears, push your boundaries and boost your self-esteem. As the ice swimmers say, once you plunge your body into an ice-hole for the first time, you will be hooked.