Cold water swimming!

Mid-July a friend finally, after several months, convinced me to join her in the ocean pool at 7am on a Saturday morning.

It’s the middle of winter! To even contemplate swimming in the sea is crazy! (I only get in the water when it has passed above 25C.)

My friend picked me up, just in case I chickened out. ?Dressed like some crazy eccentric, I made my way down to the pool, telling myself all the way how stupid this was. ?I’d left my warm bed, in the dark, to drown?myself in near freezing water. (Slight exaggeration – it was 14C that day.)

INSANE!

Leading the way, my friend told me to just walk in and to keep on walking until I could bear to immerse completely. Gasping, groaning, panting – orgasmic sounds of torture – I followed her.

OMG!

It was SO COLD!!

For about four laps it was terrible. By the sixth I was feeling eurphoric. ?The water was not just bearable, it was amazing!

I can’t tell you how amazing I felt!

For the whole day.

So amazing, I went again the following day. ?So amazing, I’ve been going every weekend since.

I’m totally addicted to cold water swimming?- even in the winter!

I’ve done some research. ?Cold water swimming is really good for your health (providing you don’t have a dodgey heart).

Apparently a sudden and drastic change in temperature is treated by your body as an attack. ?This doesn’t sound good but in fact, it’s really good.

The amazing “high” that you get from the cold immersion, the addictive euphoric feeling, comes from a big release of endorphins. ?These are your body’s natural pain killers and when you jump into cold water, their release takes the sting away from your skin.

The cold also stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin – keeping you happy. (Low levels are linked with depression.)

No wonder it’s addictive!

Cold swims help to stimulate your circulation, exfoliate your skin and flush impurities from it. ?This helps to improve your complexion and reduce cellulite. Your body adapts to the cold with repeated exposure which may also improve general circulation to your extremities.

My skin now feels so beautifully, silky soft – definitely worth the ordeal.

Some studies show that cold water immersion also increases production of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women, helping to balance their hormones. This in turn can help to increase libido and fertility.

Swimming in cold water will make your body work twice as hard to keep you warm and burn more calories/kilojoules in the process – increasing your metabolism over time.

It seems though that swimming in salty sea water is especially good for you (better than cold showers or baths) because of the minerals in the water. You can absorb much more magnesium and other minerals through your skin than by taking oral supplements.

Sea water is good for psoriasis, exzema and some other allergies. Symptoms of hay fever can be reduced by washing out the nasal passages. People who live near and swim in the sea often have healthier respiratory systems and the salt water also helps to heal wounds more quickly.

Being near and in the sea also increases your negative ion exposure, making you feel more relaxed and generally happier.

There’s a freedom and sensuality you get when you swim in the sea that just doesn’t happen when you go to the gym or for a run.

On top of all that, there’s a whole culture around this year-round beach swimming. It’s full of amazingly friendly and welcoming people who love to share a cuppa (tea, coffee and/or whiskey) and a chat after the swim.

It’s wonderful.

Will I be seeing you there?

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