Should You Take the Ice Swimming Plunge?
We’ve all seen the footage of people jumping into ice cold water to raise money for a favorite charity, but this is something else. Ice swimming. Invigorating. Exhilarating. Healthy?
Early research shows ice swimming—without a wetsuit and in water colder than 41 degrees Fahrenheit—may have health benefits, including treatment for depression. The effects are similar to cryotherapy, which is sometimes used to help decrease inflammation, promote healing, and improve circulation.
Despite the potential benefits, ice swimming carries a number of risks—hyperventilation, high blood pressure, and hypothermia, to name a few. If you decide to give it a try, it’s important to have supervision, train properly, and acclimate to colder temperatures slowly. Happy (brrrr!) swimming!
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