Lifestyle

Winter Swimming and its Health and Beauty Benefits

It seems that swimming in a lake or the sea during the winter has increased in popularity since the pandemic started. There is something about it that offers a natural high, and the beautiful scenery is reminiscent of positive memories from past summers or childhood. On closer inspection however, it appears that winter swimming also has many health benefits.
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A tool to keep you present in the moment

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Swimming during the winter means the temperature of the water is cooler. This sudden change once you get in forces you to be present at that moment, and your brain automatically focuses on the sensation of the cold. On top of that, your body's weightlessness in the water is also something that anchors the mind and the body into a state of relaxation and calmness.

Good for blood circulation

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The cold temperature of the water makes the heart pump blood faster, and it forces blood to the surface, which increases the circulation in the body and its extremities. It also helps flush out toxins from veins, arteries and capillaries. 

It offers a boost for the immune system and reduces inflammation

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The white blood cell count is boosted when the body is in cold water because it must react to the temperature change. Over time, this makes the body activate a defence quicker and more efficiently.

 
The body's inflammatory response is lowered in the cold water, which means muscles can recover more quickly. By swimming regularly, this may also help the body to adapt to the cold. Additionally, more calories are burned in cold water swimming because the heart needs to pump blood faster to keep the body warm. 

Good for mental strength

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It can be quite daunting at first to willingly jump into the water, but once you do it and get your body moving, it will adapt to the cold. It may be a small act, but it can be incredibly fulfilling and gives you a sense of achievement. 

A healing source for trauma

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For many, swimming in cold water can be healing, whether you have emotional or physical trauma. It may also help reduce stress because the cold stimulates the parasympathetic system, helping the body repair and rest.

A natural high

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Endorphins are released during exercise to help us feel good during these activities. Cold temperatures bring the body close to pain, and endorphins are also released when we are in pain to help us cope. Coldwater swimming is the perfect activity for some extra endorphins for both those reasons!

Make sure you have the appropriate equipment!

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We recommend that you bring things like a hot flask with a beverage, a warm towel and a change of clothes so that you can warm up fast after you get out of the water. You can also wear a swimming hat and a wetsuit when you are in the water, whichever you prefer. Remember to know your limits, listen to your body if you are too cold or if it is too much of a shock.

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