Do we want it to be true? Swimming in the sea, researchers say, may have health benefits.
Repeated dips allow the body’s reaction to the cold to lessen, meaning heart rate will remain lower, as well as adrenaline and noradrenaline levels in the bloodstream decreasing. This is the body’s way of acclimatising to the temperature stress, but it could allow our bodies to cope with other physical stresses too. The sympathetic nervous system may also be involved meaning that we learn that we do not need to react to the cold water, like we learn not to react to certain sounds.
Researchers at Portsmouth University found that a few minutes of cold water immersion affects people who frequently swim in the sea half as much as people who don’t. Frequent dips in the sea have even been linked to increased white blood cells, which are needed for the body’s immune system.
So how does it work?
Scientists believe that our immune systems are slightly stressed by the temperature, and are shocked into action… Almost training the immune system. This also means that allergies could lessen. Furthermore, the salt water has been found to improve skin problems, and sooth muscular pain by promoting the skins water retention. This is true for both psoriasis and eczema.
So this means that both the temperature and salt content are health benefits, and could improve and prolong your life. Would you brave it? I think it’s worth a try.