Swimming in cold water provides a multitude of benefits for the body and your health, in general. It gets the blood pumping, boosts the immune system, and leaves your muscles feeling refreshed and uninflamed. If you’re interested in cold water swimming this winter, peruse the tips below and keep them in mind as you take the plunge into winter swimming.
Dress For The Job
Because water zaps heat from our bodies so quickly, there’s no such thing as dressing too warmly for a cold water swim. The very basic supplies should include a thick, swim-specific wetsuit and an insulating swim cap. If it’s extra chilly, you should think about wearing swim gloves and booties. The less skin exposed, the warmer you’ll be.
Keep Your Mind Occupied
Keeping your mind focused and occupied in a heated pool might be an easy task. But staying on track is harder when you’re constantly thinking about how cold the water feels. Cold water swimmers know that keeping their mind occupied is the key to success. Try tuning out with a waterproof MP3 player, pretending that you’re racing someone, or keeping pace with a metronome.
Exposing your face to cold water is a shocking sensation! Some experienced cold water swimmers like to submerge their heads just before the swim gets underway. This helps to acclimate their exposed facial skin and makes less of an impact on their bodies once the swim begins.
Focus on Your Exhale
When our bodies are exposed to cold water, it’s a natural reaction to sharply inhale. By focusing on deeply exhaling, your muscles will relax and your body and mind will be better prepared to swim. Also, fully exhaling underwater will keep your inhales quicker and minimize the time your face is exposed to the cold exterior air.
Pick Up The Tempo
If you’re able to, consider picking up your stroke tempo while swimming during the winter. A faster stroke and kick raises your heart rate and metabolism and thus, makes you feel warmer.