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  #1  
Old 03-21-2009
naj naj is offline
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Thumbs up Cold Water Therapy

As I've mentioned the average temp in the San Francisco Bay is between 52 in the Winter and 62 at the hight of summer. Many say the usual stuff, "No way am I getting in thee it's too cold!" But I've found it to be not the case and based on this and other articles it seems that cold water has some great benefits. Enjoy!
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Old 03-21-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Interesting. I always have to psych myself up to get into cold water, but feel really alive and invigorated afterwards. Certainly, swimming pools that are too warm lead to the opposite feeling.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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I think what you're used to has a lot to do with it. I was at a local beach in early September (water temperature about 66F, possibly) when asked by people that stopped what the water was like. I said it was a bit cool but not that bad. They stuck a toe in and ran for cover back to their car --- with South Carolina plates. Warm salt water here is anything over 68F.

Then again the outdoor dept. of recreation pool has maintained mid summer temperature near 86F which I think causes you to tire out quickly. More of a hot tub than a swimming pool -- but still nice!

Mike
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Old 05-05-2011
vripley vripley is offline
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I always found Lynne Cox amazing ... She swam for ~30 minutes in 32 degree water. And also for 2+ hours in waters close to freezing temperatures. I struggle in 65 degrees ... HA!
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Last edited by vripley : 05-05-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
seems that cold water has some great benefits. Enjoy!


I sense this too, both physically and mentally. Took a dose of this therapy today although a week later than I initially intended and a few degrees warmer too, nonetheless a 'blissful' moment to start my OW season.
45 minutes @ 56.3F in the crisp Long Island Sound made for a nice 'twilight' swim :-) ... and I did Enjoy!

Alan
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2011
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
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Naj,

Interesting article. Unfortunately we have ice in winter, so the time of the year that we can start is April-May. I was in the first time this year in late April at a temperature of 48 F, which was not nice at all. Now we are at 59-60, which is piece of cake. It is nicer in the autumn, when you gradually lose a degree or two as times goes by. You are lucky to be in a part of the world where you can swim all year. To go from the pool to OW in the spring is awful first, but nice after a while.

/Lennart
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Old 05-13-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LennartLarsson View Post
Naj,

Interesting article. Unfortunately we have ice in winter, so the time of the year that we can start is April-May. I was in the first time this year in late April at a temperature of 48 F, which was not nice at all. Now we are at 59-60, which is piece of cake. It is nicer in the autumn, when you gradually lose a degree or two as times goes by. You are lucky to be in a part of the world where you can swim all year. To go from the pool to OW in the spring is awful first, but nice after a while.

/Lennart
Lennart, I salute you -- 48F is too cold for me. Though I did get in for the first time this year when the water was about 53F/12C. Felt cold to me, even wearing a long sleeved thermal rash guard shirt. Yes, I'm still wearing it each time I get in. Hope to stop wearing it in a week or two. I'll hear it from Naji if I don't! (and I don't really like it anyway...can't completely feel the water)

I enjoy colder water when I'm used to it. My body tends to lose heat pretty quickly & I swim slowly, so those first few times it's all about getting my time in but not staying in too long. Significant afterdrop is not fun, and it's difficult to open my locker at the club when my hands are shaking hard.

The article mentioned increased metabolic rate, and I can vouch for this. I need to eat no longer than 1.5 hours before swimming in cold water, and I eat a snack immediately after. And I'm in the water only about a half hour!
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2011
WaiNaam WaiNaam is offline
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I swim in an outdoor pool in Thailand and would guess the temperature right now is in the mid to high 80's - that can really increase your perceived exertion! Thanks for the tips on cold water swims - I look forward to open water swims in Colorado this summer - but I may need an adjustment period!
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2011
dougalt dougalt is offline
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Default New Jersey Coast swims this winter

This year is the first time I ever tried cold water swimming. I managed to get in at least 2 swims in the Atlantic each month here at Asbury Park, NJ right through the winter. 50 to 150 yards was all the distance I covered on any one day, but I did manage to swim one memorable time when the air temp was 21º, with a very brisk wind, and the water was 39º!
Exhilarating is the word! Very surprisingly, I found myself also enjoying spending some time, after coming out of the water, walking up and down the beach in the wind to dry off! Although I had plenty of huge towels and warm clothing at the ready, I found, strangely, that it actually felt good lingering in the open air.
It seems to me that the positive stimulative effects on my body's systems lasted for a least 2 days or so.
Learning how to relax, and just smoothly and steadily enter the water, without any "shock" or "panic" syndromes or any wild energy consuming gyrations, was the most rewarding accomplishment for me. It is an amazing process to observe how your body adjusts itself, somehow, to actually function at these temperatures. At least until all feeling disappears from the hands and feet...
My challenge for next winter is to cover some longer distances.
PS: Am I correct in assuming that we are discussing doing all this withOUT wet suits...?

Last edited by dougalt : 05-21-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2011
terry terry is offline
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I feel such simpatico with this thread. I've had direct experience with the healthful effects of regular colder-water swimming. As with Lennart I can't do it year-round. The lakes near New Paltz are frozen solid all winter -- even the Wallkill River freezes enough that snowmobilers use it as a highway.

And that makes re-immersion in spring a bit painful if you start at 50 degrees or below. I've found I can only stand a few minutes at that temperature after a winter of pool swimming. Whereas in the fall, after acclimating to dropping temperatures a degree or two per week I've been able to swim comfortably in water as cold as 47 for over 20 minutes. Fortunately I've found I can increase to 15 then 30 minutes of swimming quite quickly in spring.

That seems a good illustration of the phenomenon of acclimatization.

I've also experienced the health benefits during those weeks when I can swim regularly in cooler water. My favorite temperatures have been the mid-50s, say from 52-58. After the initial breathtaking sensation- which passes after couple of minutes if you're acclimatized, there's no discomfort at all, there's a distinctly exhilarating feeling of the contrast between stingingly cold water on your skin and amazing warmth within. And following your swim an amazing feeling of invigoration that I've not experienced from any other activity.

And then there's the purely anecdotal experience of being able to forgo my usual blood pressure medication for a month or more during and after those weeks of swimming in 50-ish water.
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