Swimming in temperature-controlled water can be very relaxing for the body. Worldwide, you can find examples of swimmers who enjoy taking a dip in a wide range of water temperatures. In Finland, for example, swimming in ice-cold water is considered beneficial to health. In Japan, the onsen or bathhouse is filled with water from hot springs and is believed to bestow health-giving properties on the bather. Swimming in hot or cold water has different effects on the body. Here, we break down the differences to help you decide which could be most beneficial to you.
Cold Water Swimming
There’s a lot of debate over whether it is good to submerge your body in cold water. Cold water gives you a jolt. To cope with the sudden cold, the body releases endorphins and other hormones to keep you alert. Luckily for you, endorphins also make you happy. The body goes into a kind of overdrive to maintain its core temperature, which also burns extra calories. Skincare enthusiasts also prefer cold water. It shrinks pores, and it doesn’t dry up the skin in the same way as warm water.
Warm Water Swimming
Swimming or bathing in warm water is recognised worldwide to have its own benefits. Warm baths are more common than cold ones as they are simply more comfortable. Warm pools can have marked health benefits, especially if they are used regularly. Wading in hot water benefits the muscles and joints. This is important for people who suffer pain in these areas. The circulatory system functions better in warm water and can more effectively supply the joints with a steady flow of nutrients and oxygen. Unlike cold baths that shock the system, immersion in a warm pool has a more gentle effect on the body. Swimming in a pool that has been warmed or cooled to a comfortable temperature is great, but increasing or decreasing the temperature can have interesting effects on the body.
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