Some fitness trends are more popular than others. Going to a Zumba class with a load of mates and having a good dance around is probably always going to be more popular than an SAS boot camp. Well, what about winter wild swimming? It’s cold, it’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is growing in popularity.
One version of winter wild swimming that’s growing in popularity is ice swimming, which takes place in waters that are below 5 degrees celsius in temperature. It’s often a component of wild swimming – swimming in any natural bodies of water – whether it be a lake, pond, river, or the ocean, if that wild swimming is done in the winter and early spring months. (A crowd sourced map of places where you can go wild swimming can be found here: https://wildswim.com)
But why do it?
Not only does it give you some good exercise, but it can also:
- Help to improve your memory
- Reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia, rheumatism, or asthma
- Improve your blood circulation
- Improve your immune system
- Reduce your stress
The cold water stimulates your parasympathetic system which is responsible for rest and repair. This leads to your body releasing dopamine and serotonin – the happy hormones. This, along with the effect of endorphins and adrenaline brought on by the sudden cold, makes for a feel-good boost.
What do you think? Worth braving the cold to gain the benefits? Or is a dip in a Jacuzzi more your cup of tea when it comes to feeling good?