Winter Swimming to Strengthen Your Immunity and Psyche: How to Start and What Rules to Follow

Winter swimming is not just a passing trend, even though it might seem so when we see photos of half-naked celebrities filling their Instagram showing their frozen smiles with the winter landscape in the background. Winter swimming has a long history starting when its beneficial effects on the human immune system have been confirmed.

Effects of winter swimming: stronger immunity and psyche

Many studies have confirmed the benefits of cold water to our health. The Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam states that being in cold water for no more than 90 seconds a day reduces morbidity by up to thirty percent. Regular cooling of the body also inhibits inflammatory reactions, so many diseases tend to have milder and shorter progress.

Winter swimming contributes to the strengthening of the whole organism: it improves the cardiovascular system, strengthens heart activities, and positively affects metabolism. It can also accelerate blood circulation intensely, even to the uppermost layers of our skin and make the skin healthier and stronger. 

It can strengthen mental resilience, too: it is a training of strong will, patience, and perseverance. Winter swimming is also used in the treatment of anorexia and various allergies. Thanks to the blood circulation to the whole organism, it also has a positive effect on muscles and joints.

In addition to many health benefits, winter swimming also has a positive effect on the psyche.

How to start with winter swimming? Carefully and slowly

Safety comes first – take your age and health into account when doing it. It is definitely not a good idea to hurry up or consider it as a competition of “who will last longer”. 

For an intensive and safe cooling, your kidneys and blood pressure must be in order; generally, your heart must be healthy because the heat shock can be very dangerous. The safest option is to be approved by a medical examination and to follow a few rules:

  • It is a good idea to start with winter swimming only when you feel healthy and well – the psyche also plays an important role in the process. 
  • In outdoor water, it is good to start swimming in summer and continue until winter, so the body gets used to the coldness gradually and naturally. 
  • For your safety, always have a partner when doing winter swimming in lakes, ponds, or rivers. 
  • Regularity is also important – it should be a lifelong process. Make it your daily ritual, take a cold shower for example every morning or at bedtime. 
  • When you take cold showers, switch water from warm to cold gradually and increase the time spent under cold water every other training.


When it comes to health, remember to have your health insurance in order.

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Li Jiaoyang

Hi, there. See the photo on the left? Now we are talking! As a foreigner, the same as most of you, my dear readers, I know exactly what you care about the most.

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