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Here are some of the amazing benefits that come with cold water immersions.
It must be said, enthusiastically jumping into icy cold water may not be everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay. But today we are here to give you some information that may change your mind.
It is clear that over the last few years, many more have been taking to the cold for various different reasons. As humans, we are all slightly different therefore our reasons for dipping will also differ from person to person.
For those on lookers, it could be thought that cold water users are just following a trend, however once you do it for yourself you will truly understand why we do it.
This can come in many different forms, swimming and/or dipping in rivers, the sea, lochs, river, cold showers, ice barrels, baths etc all year around.
Here is a list of benefits that can come with cold water immersions.
"It brings out our inner child!"
1. It gives you a natural High.
As soon as your body hits the water it will start releasing endorphins. Endorphins are what the brain produces that makes us feel good when doing certain activities.
You may find that once you have just left the water where you will feel the natural high more. Many people feel this continues throughout the rest of the day if it was an early morning exposure to the cold water.
These endorphins are than likely released whilst we are in the cold water because of how close we are to the pain barrier. To help with us cope with the pain, endorphins are released.
Good thing that it then makes us feel happy from the result of doing this.
2. It dramatically improves mental health.
Being in cold water has been shown to reduce stress and depression alongside improving people’s memory function and concentration. It is amazing what the brain can and will do. Due to the nature of being in cold water, one of the best ways to deal with it is to concentrate and focus on your breathing.
Deep breaths taken before, during and after can keep you calm and collected but also to allow you to have control. In doing this, it allows you to then be able to take these feelings into other aspects of life and to know that using your breath can calm you down and allow you to be more resilient. Many studies have shown that cold water swimmers are more relaxed and calm in their day to day lives as a result.
3. It gets you outside into nature.
During this day and age, we all tend to spend most or a lot of time indoors in front of screens and artificial light.
We naturally crave the great outdoors. Pardon the pun but I think it is deeply rooted within us to be in the outdoors. Getting outside and grounding ourselves, walking barefoot in the sand, being in water or walking in the forest for example has many very powerful, therapeutic and healing effects. It gets us exercising our bodies whilst calming the mind and elevating our spirits.
To add to this, being in nature doesn’t only help to improve your mood but reduces stress, lower stress hormone levels, lower blood pressure, enhances the immune system and increases your self- esteem. Getting out into cold water is such a great way for this.
4. It is an amazing way to get socialising.
Cold water dipping and swimming has naturally become a community-based activity. Many are heading out regularly with their friends. In doing so people are socialising out in nature. Laughing, smiling, exercising and in a space where people can be themselves.
Although many would describe themselves as being an “introvert”, we are all hard wired for connections with other humans.
By nature, it is more safe when we head out with other people. We would always encourage people to not go alone. The more and more you do it, the more people you will meet doing the same thing. Groups will form along with bonds. Often groups then set goals and challenges.
Sharing these experiences can often bring a lot more joy than if you did it solo. We have found that many people who have come to our events have ended up making really good friends that they now meet outside of Seashell. The screams and laughter of those coming for cold water dips always seems to bring out our inner child.
5. Improves skin and hair health.
The cold water gets the blood moving around our bodies. The blood rushes to the surface of your skin which in turn flushes your arteries, veins and capillaries.
You often see people who come out of the water have bright red skin and this is exactly why. Many find that their hands and feet get very cold whilst in water. This is because the blood rushes from your extremities to warm up the vital organs
If you isolate just the hands and feet into cold water over time, it can allow your body and mind to adapt to this so you don’t feel it hurting so much. Cold water exposure can therefore help protect not only our vital organs but also our bones, hair and skin.
6. It boosts your immune system.
Because the body is forced to deal with the sudden change in temperature whilst being in cold water it helps to boost the body’s white blood cell count.
Many who regularly get cold water exposure rarely get sick as their bodies over time learn to adapt to the changing temperatures/conditions. Our bodies being able to adapt is one of the best ways we can stay healthy and have a resilient immune system.
The sudden change of temperature back and forth will for sure get the body and mind working, adapting and become stronger as a result.
"Seashell Robes have the best robes on the market and they’re growing in popularity."
"Not only do Seashell make waterproof changing robes, but they also have their own community. Seashell practice what they preach and put their products to good use in wild swimming and fitness community events up in Scotland."
Thank you very much for reading our blog. We hope this inspired you to get out there and try cold water immersions.
Our aim is to share other people's stories. Whether you have a story about mental health, community or why you started wild swimming for example.
If you would like to be featured in our Seashell stories then email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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