The Health Benefits of Cold-water Swimming

Swimming in cold water has a multitude of positive effects, so grab your goggles and hop in the water

Credit: Flickr / timkelley

Open water swimming

Want to burn more calories? Swimming in cold water forces your body to work harder to keep you warm

No matter what time of year, cold-water swimming has an abundance of positive effects, including an increased metabolism and frisky libido

Hit the beach this summer! Studies show swimming in colder water burns more calories, increases metabolism, strengthens the immune system, boosts circulation and even improves sex life.

Whether you choose to swim in a lake, an ocean, or your community pool, water activity promises many health and fitness benefits. If the exercise is vigorous, swimming can increase aerobic fitness levels by challenging the heart and lungs.

It can also improve strength because water adds resistance against moving limbs. Water can support up to an estimated 90% of your body weight, making water activity a shock-free workout that cushions the joints.

Cold Water Swimming is Worth it

Swimming in colder water has additional benefits. Your body works harder to keep you warm, therefore boosting circulation and burning more calories. Your immune system gets a boost too as it reacts to the sudden change in temperature by increasing its white blood cell production. The endorphin rush when you hit the colder water creates a natural high that elevates your mood.

In addition, colder water has been attributed to boosting libido. In a study where participants took daily cold baths, there was an increased production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

Just remember to see your physician or chat to a personal trainer before swimming in colder water.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.