The Benefits of Cold Water Swimming and How to Stay Safe

Shutterstock // Inga Gedrovicha

From rivers and lakes and even to the ocean, thousands of people have started to discover the benefits of cold water swimming. Swimming is not just an enjoyable pastime; it can also help to strengthen muscles, prevent strains, and help people lose weight. Here are some of the benefits of cold water swimming and how to do it safely.

Benefits of Cold Water Swimming

Cold water swimming, which is often known as open water swimming or wild swimming, is an excellent way to stay in shape. Swimming for just 30 minutes each week can even help to stave off strokes, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

It can also significantly improve muscle strength and reduce inflammation. Cold water will help to increase your calorie burn rate. In addition to burning calories, it’s great for your mental health, with many describing the need to control your breath as a form of meditation. Cold water swimming triggers your “happy hormones” just like other forms of exercise do.

Less Stressful Than Running

Runners place a great deal of stress on their feet and knees. With each rhythmic slap of their feet on the sidewalk, the shock wave reverberates up their legs, which places more stress on their muscles and bones. Cold water swimming, or any form of swimming, doesn’t do this. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and you aren’t fighting against gravity.

Shutterstock // Inga Gedrovicha

Over time, cold water swimming exposure redirects your blood flow to the vital organs and encourages your body to circulate blood more effectively. However, please note that this type of swimming is very different from using a pool, so you should never swim alone. Cramps can catch most people unaware, and this is when you may get into trouble if you are on your own. Bring a spotter with you if no one else wants to swim.