SPONGE TO PLUNGE A Dutch study in 2016 showed that people finishing a daily shower with a 30-second blast of cold water reduced their sick days at work by 29%. Acclimatising to cold water is an important step in enjoying a safe swim. We have been working with Professor Greg Whyte to launch a Cold Water Exposure 2 Week Home Plan. A safe way to reduce the impact of cold water immersion. Download your plan Some benefits of open 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 activating its defences. 2. It gives you a natural high Cold water swimming activates endorphins. This chemical is what the brain produces to make us feel good during activities. Open water swimming is also 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 with it. 3. It improves your circulation Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold. 4. It burns calories The heart has to pump faster in cold water and the body must work harder to keep everything warm while swimming. Overall, far more calories are burned during cold water swimming than swimming in warmer conditions. The idea that drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn may be a myth, but it is a fact that cold water decreases your body temperature so much that the body must act. 5. It reduces stress Cold water swimming places stress on the body physically and mentally. Many studies have identified the link between cold water and stress reduction. Cold water swimmers become calmer and more relaxed.