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Want to feel better? Try cold swims!

Want to feel better? Try cold swims!

Summer is a fun time to splash in the water and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, but when the days start to get colder we often abandon the beach in favor of toasty warm fireplaces and cups of hot cocoa. 

If you love to swim though, you may find revisiting that lake in the colder months might actually be beneficial to your health. Cold water swimming is gaining in popularity, due to it's surprising health benefits.

It boost the immune system

People have been treating themselves to cold water blasts for millenium, and for good reason. Exposing yourself to cold water is actually well studied, and has found that it can boost your immune system by raising your white blood cell count.

Of course, you don't want to just jump in, while the white cells develop due to being forced to adjust to changes in the environment, thermal shock can still be deadly. Adjust to the water slowly so your body can handle the changes. 

Helps you adapt to cold

Do you ever find yourself hurrying to turn up the thermostat when it drops below 65? Cold water swimming adapts your body to cold after repeated exposures. You might finally be able to feel comfortable at the frigid temperatures set by office management.

 Helps you reduce stress

It's hard to imagine taking an icy swim as anything but stress reducing, but surprisingly it can really help. Cold water swimming places both physical stress on the body, as you swim through icy waters, and mental stress as you try to stay focused through the process.

Surprisingly as your body and mind learns how to adapt, managing your life outside of the water is considerably less stressful.

 If you're looking to try something new, and you don't mind braving a little cold, try swimming. It may refresh you and help you both physically and mentally.

 

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19531907

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