BENEFITS OF COLD WATER SWIMMING
An Increased Tolerance to Stress The temperature of the water creates a stress reaction in the body, the same kind of reaction we experience if we find ourselves in a scary or tense situation. The body releases the stress hormone cortisol and breathing frequency and heart rate increases. The body’s fight or flight mechanism kicks in, explaining why the natural reaction to getting into cold water is to want to get out as fast as possible.
A Boost to Self Esteem The process of forcing yourself to stay in cold water could be increasing your mental strength. Getting out of your comfort zone builds confidence and courage as well as giving you a sense of accomplishment. By becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable you increase your resilience in other areas of life.
Radiant Skin Swimming in open water - especially sea water - may have beneficial effects on your skin. Salt water is awash with magnesium, calcium and potassium which is all good news for the skin. Sea water is also a mild antiseptic and may encourage damaged skin to heal.
Post Swim High The fabled after swim high is a real thing, as the mix of exercise and cold water exposure triggers a release of dopamine, the body’s feel good hormone. If you swim with a buddy or in a group the chance to share and compare your experience with like-minded people intensifies the experience.
Decreased Inflammation Ice baths are used by elite athletes all over the world to aid post performance recovery. The science is simple, your body reacts to the cold temperatures by directing blood away from your extremities to protect the organs in your core.
The low blood flow to your limbs decreases inflammation and allows muscles to recover much quicker. A bracing dip can give you all the benefits of an ice bath.
(Information from: https://swimsecure.co.uk/blogs/safety-guides/benefit-of-open-water-swimming)