It reduces anxiety & depression, improves the immune system, burns calories helps circulation and increases your libido. It gives you a natural high ...
The health benefits of cold water swimming have long been suspected, from Victorians gathering in their bathing machines to the lido boom of the early twentieth century.
Today modern science is starting to back up the anecdotal evidence with studies that suggest that there are lasting positive effects of a bracing outdoor dip, especially in seawater.
What you need to know!
Winter sea swimming is literally not for the fainthearted! Endurance swimmer and ocean advocate Lewis Pugh described it as a violent physical assault on the body.
But the immediate and long term benefits from a quick dip in Le Grand Bleu are unequalled.
The outdoor swimming society recommend going carefully!
The best way to enter the water is slowly, in a controlled way. One of the first things you will learn to control as a winter swimmer is the 'gasp' reflex, where it feels as if the cold water has punched the air out of your lungs, and you cannot breathe.
If this happens to you: exhale with a strong sigh'. This may feel counterintuitive, but if you puff the air out the next breath will come back in. Then concentrate on steadying your breathing.
Start with small dips, see how you are after you get out, extend your time in the water gradually and make the journey into cold your own personal experiment. You will find there is no reliable answer to 'how long can I stay in as everybody is different. Some life-long winter swimmers still stay in for a minute or two.