Swimming in cold water: How to start ?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Gabriel, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel Guest

    I watched a television program about a common practice in Russia and Finland, among many families
    who bathe in a frozen lake (after digging a hole in the ice), even with their children. I was very
    young then, and thought 'Well, this is just a movie', but seeing it many times later I wasn't very
    confortable living in denial, and decided to practice that. The temperatures in my area are almost
    never below 5 C in winter, so I thought that would make it easy. Every day, I took a cold-water
    shower, never using the hot water, starting from summer and going-on through winter, hoping that my
    body would acclimatize to the gradual change. However, as autumn passed by, I was among the first
    people to be sick. I have also realized that the 'ritual', so to speak, had an opposite effect: It
    was becoming harder day-by-day to deal with the cold water.

    I have abandonned this ritual for 15 years, and later heard about another training in which one
    starts with a warm shower, and periodically shifts from warm to cold water and vice-versa. This
    time, it has been successful. I could pass through the wide range from warm water to almost outdoors
    temperature, I would feel lots of ease doing this many times, and feel more refreshed after that.
    There are some risks which I realized later, although I did not become sick:

    1- I have realized that the back is more sensitive to cold and hot temperatures than the chest and
    abdomen. Would there be any risks to the kidneys ? 2- showering the head with cold water is also
    tricky. Yesterday, I accidentally sprayed cold water on my head. I had an instantaneous reaction
    that felt like an inrush of hot blood into my head, accompanied by a sensation of high pressure,
    like that in a balloon. The feeling was like that caused by the flu with a high fever, and it lasted
    for more than 24 hours.

    In the winter, I engage with on-land activities, and all outdoors pools would be closed anyway, so I
    don't have the chance to do a workout in cold water. Would this type of training (switching between
    hot and cold water) give me any cold weather tolerance, or am I just wasting my time ? What am I
    supposed to do, if I want to start swimming in the open in winter ?
     
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  2. Oscargrouch

    Oscargrouch Guest

    tell us again why you are intent on torturing yourself in this manner? haven't we suffered enough
    for thousands of years? take a hot shower, dude

    "Gabriel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I watched a television program about a common practice in Russia and Finland, among many families
    > who bathe in a frozen lake (after digging a hole in the ice), even with their children. I was very
    > young then, and thought 'Well, this is just a movie', but seeing it many times later I wasn't very
    > confortable living in denial, and decided to practice that. The temperatures in my area are almost
    > never below 5 C in winter, so I thought that would make it easy. Every day, I took a cold-water
    > shower, never using the hot water, starting from summer and going-on through winter, hoping that
    > my body would acclimatize to the gradual change. However, as autumn passed by, I was among the
    > first people to be sick. I have also realized that the 'ritual', so to speak, had an opposite
    > effect: It was becoming harder day-by-day to deal with the cold water.
    >
    > I have abandonned this ritual for 15 years, and later heard about another training in which one
    > starts with a warm shower, and periodically shifts from warm to cold water and vice-versa. This
    > time, it has been successful. I could pass through the wide range from warm water to almost
    > outdoors temperature, I would feel lots of ease doing this many times, and feel more refreshed
    > after that. There are some risks which I realized later, although I did not become sick:
    >
    > 1- I have realized that the back is more sensitive to cold and hot temperatures than the chest and
    > abdomen. Would there be any risks to the kidneys ? 2- showering the head with cold water is also
    > tricky. Yesterday, I accidentally sprayed cold water on my head. I had an instantaneous reaction
    > that felt like an inrush of hot blood into my head, accompanied by a sensation of high pressure,
    > like that in a balloon. The feeling was like that caused by the flu with a high fever, and it
    > lasted for more than 24 hours.
    >
    > In the winter, I engage with on-land activities, and all outdoors pools would be closed anyway, so
    > I don't have the chance to do a workout in cold water. Would this type of training (switching
    > between hot and cold water) give me any cold weather tolerance, or am I just wasting my time ?
    > What am I supposed to do, if I want to start swimming in the open in winter ?
     
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