Evolutionary Health Benefits of Cold Water Immersion

Ed. – Here’s a repost from 2009. Get out of that damn pool and experience reality as you were designed to do!
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As many of you may already know, I am a strong proponent of the health benefits of cold water. My argument for this is simple – cold water exposure seems to trigger positive gene expression. And from an evolutionary standpoint, this makes perfect sense.

It is quite unlikely that paleolithic hunter-gathers – especially those who migrated across several continents during the last Ice Age – would have come across lukewarm or hot water during their daily existence. In fact, our ritual of starting off one’s day with a hot shower is a very new and very unnatural phenomenon.

Here are a few examples of studies where cold water exposure seemed to have a significant positive health impact. Check out the individual links for more details.

Immune system A 1987 study by the Hanover Medical School demonstrated that regular cold showers can reduce one’s susceptibility to the common cold.

Circulation A 2005 study at Chonbuk National University concluded that repeated exposure to cold water helped stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in both cardiac and skeletal muscle systems

MoodA 2007 study indicated that exposure to cold water may enhance mood in humans by stimulating brain pathways of multiple neurotransmitters.

Bottom line – not only does exposure to cold water appear to be healthy, but lack of exposure to cold water (and colder temperatures in general) might actually be unhealthy.

One Comment

  1. diver dave
    December 8, 2009

    ? HOW COLD DOES THE WATER NEED TO BE INORDER TO GET THE “COLD WATER BENIFITS” ?
    80 TO 85 DEGREES ? ANYTHING COLDER THEN THIS NIGHT CAUSE DEATH ! I RATHER ENJOY SWIMMING IN WATER THAT IS 102 TO 105 DEGREES OF COURSE I WEAR MY FULL WETSUIT


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