What Are the Benefits of Cold Water Swimming?
When thinking about swimming, ice-cold water may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. But cold-water swimming comes with a few unique benefits. According to a research paper published in 2020, regular swim training in cold water seemed to have a positive effect on various systems of the human body. Such systems included the cardiovascular system, endocrine system, immune system, and psyche. This means even the scientific and health community is also praising the benefits of cold-water swimming.
Knowing this, it should be no surprise that cold-water swimming is quickly becoming popular. In many countries, it is now considered a healing practice.
Let’s understand a few incredible benefits of cold-water swimming.
1. Boost Your Immune System
According to a recent study, getting an immune system boost is one of the primary benefits of cold-water swimming. It helps increase white blood cell count and antioxidants (leucocytes and monocytes). It also results in fewer infections.
When your body is exposed to a sudden change in temperature, it activates your defense mechanism – your immune system. As a result, your white blood cell count increases as soon as you land in cold water, whether it’s an in-ground swimming pool or a lake. In other words, people who practice cold water swimming regularly are less likely to feel sick.
2. Enjoy Better Hair and Skin
Skin is the biggest organ in your body, and it relies on your blood circulation system to oxygenate your blood and nutrients. Poor blood circulation can cause more flare-ups and changes in your complexion. It also makes you more susceptible to spots. In other words, good blood circulation can lead to better hair and skin health.
Cold water swimming boosts your blood circulation. It pushes blood to the surface of your skin to fight off the cold. It’s how your body wards off health risks during the cold winter season. With regular swimming in cold water, be it an above-ground swimming pool or a lake, you can enjoy better hair and skin.
3. Burn Calories and Kickstart Your Metabolism
Another critical cold-water swimming benefit is burning more calories and kick-starting your metabolism. When swimming in cold water, your body needs to work harder to keep you warm.
In short, your body will burn far more calories when swimming in cold water than in a warm in-ground swimming pool. Next time, think of cold water swimming if you want to burn more calories, kick start your metabolism, and/or lose weight.
4. Strengthen Your Blood Circulation
As mentioned before, cold-water swimming stimulates your blood flow. Your body needs warm blood to ward off the cold, flooding your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It’s a physiological reaction. Your heart starts pumping blood more efficiently to protect vital organs in your body from going into shock.
This brings the blood to the inner surface of your skin and keeps you warm. Regular swimming in cold water can increase your tolerance. That, in turn, will help improve your blood circulation in the long run. So, make sure to take a daily dip in your in-ground or above-ground swimming pool.
5. Reduce Your Stress
One of the primary benefits of cold-water swimming is a reduction in mental stress. Swimming in cold water puts pressure on your body physically and mentally. A few studies have already established a link between cold-water swimming and stress reduction.
However, you will need to master your breathing in cold water to feel its stress relief benefits. It’s better to be trained by a certified swimming coach. You can practice in an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool before swimming outside.
6. Get a Full-Body Workout
As you may already know, swimming is a full-body workout. It works the entire body, including improving your lung capacity, not to mention reducing stress. But cold-water swimming can be much better.
Swimming in cold water causes your body to work harder to stay warm. This helps you burn more calories than regular swimming. As a result, you can get a much better workout every time you take a dip in a cold above-ground swimming pool than you would in a warm one.
7. Help Reduce Pain and Inflammation
Usually, an ice pack comes to your rescue when you are hurt, like a swollen ankle or a sore muscle. It’s one of the most common first-aid treatments because cold temperature helps reduce pain and inflammation. The cold temperature causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the blood flow to the affected area. This helps reduce pain and swelling.
Although the evidence for long-term healing is anecdotal, swimming in cold water may also help tackle chronic pain. It is one of the most popular cold-water swimming benefits. However, you should consult a healthcare professional before starting ice-water swimming as a therapy.
8. Lift Your Spirits
This is one of the lesser-known cold-water swimming benefits. When you swim in cold water, your body releases a rush of endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals boost your mood and lower your anxiety.
Consider regularly swimming in cold water to better your mental health. However, make sure to check with your doctor or a certified expert before doing so. You may not want to swim in cold-water if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or asthma. Pregnant women should also avoid it.
Contact the Experts at Aqua Leisure Pools & Spas for Help
As you can see, cold-water swimming comes with plenty of health benefits. It can boost your immune system, improve blood circulation, kick-start metabolism, reduce pain and inflammation, and lift your spirits. You can consider swimming in cold water regularly to enjoy these health benefits. Just make sure to consult a healthcare professional first.
And for all your swimming pool and spa needs, you can rely on Aqua Leisure. Our friendly experts can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to help you find the swimming pool or spa of your dreams!