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6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming

6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming

Cold water swimming is the act of swimming in a pool, lake, or pond when it’s at its coldest. It often takes place in winter, but it doesn’t always have to. The International Ice Swimming Association, for example, demands that water be colder than 5 degrees Celsius for international competition.

These are six major health benefits to cold water swimming. We know they exist because of studies into the health benefits of water in general. Many regular cold water swimmers have managed to increase both their life expectancy and overall quality of life.

On top of that, you can expect better fitness in general, along with all the benefits that come with being a fit and healthy human being. Just make sure you pair cold water swimming with a balanced diet.

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If you want to improve your life on all fronts, think about taking a dip in your local cold water swimming pool. It will be one of the best decisions that you make. Here are six amazing health benefits of cold water swimming.

1. It boosts your immune system

The effects of cold water on the immune system have been studied widely. Cold water helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. Over time, your body becomes better at mobilizing its defenses.

There’s a reason why so many people who participate in cold water swimming are rarely sick.

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2. It gives you an endorphin high

Endorphins are what the brain produces to make us feel good about certain activities. Cold water swimming is a form of exercise, and exercise has been proven to treat depression. Cold water swimming brings us close to the pain barrier. Endorphins are released when we’re in pain to help us cope.

Cold water swimming is particularly helpful for endorphin release for this reason. Who can say no to a few extra endorphins?

3. It enhances your circulation

Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and pushes the cold downwards. In other words, it helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold.

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In older and vulnerable people, this is essential. It helps them better cope during harsh winters. The seasons become less of a health risk and more enjoyable.

4. It increases your libido

Cold water was traditionally seen as a way to repress sexual urges. The fact is that it actually increases libido. A dip in some cold water boosts estrogen and testosterone production, adding an edge to fertility and libido.

The benefits of increased libido include more confidence, higher self-esteem, and enhanced mood.

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5. It burns more calories

The heart must pump faster and the body must work harder to keep everything warm while swimming in cold water. Overall, you will burn far more calories than swimming in hotter conditions. The idea that drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn may be a myth, but it’s a fact that cold water decreases your body temperature so much that the body has to act. It’s no coincidence that cold water swimmers are generally thin.

6. It reduces stress

Stress is a demon in the modern world. When stressful times come, we are woefully unprepared for them. Reducing stress means you will feel better, you will feel more optimistic, and you will be more resilient when stressful times come along.

Cold water swimming places stress on the body physically and mentally. Many studies have told us about the link between cold water and stress reduction. Cold water swimmers are naturally calmer and more relaxed. They are stronger in the face of adversity.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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