Swimming in Winter: Tips to Keep Warm in Cold Water Swimming for Beginners
It may be thrilling and exciting to swim in cold water. Things are crucial to executing it correctly since it may also be risky. Spend some time getting familiar with the cold water to ensure you can swim safely. If you’re swimming in the water below 70 °F (21°C), you’ll also have to wear the appropriate equipment. You’ll be prepared to take the chilly plunge once you’re properly attired and accustomed.
Step 1: Get the Swimming Equipment
You will frequently be permitted to wear proper clothing when swimming in chilly water. A wetsuit, swimming hat, earplugs, and even boots and gloves, can be considered among these. You may even dress in animal fat to stay warm if you want to go a step further!
Consider wearing a wetsuit if you plan to swim in chilly water regularly. A wetsuit assures you that your winter swim is fun and gratifying, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman. For various cold water sports, there are many wetsuit types. Get one made for triathletes; it will only slightly limit your ability to move your knee, hip, and shoulder. But also be careful to purchase a wetsuit with a complete body. For instance, if you acquire one with partial arms, your arms won’t be protected from the cold!
If we talk about the wetsuit material, you should prefer a wetsuit made of neoprene, which works better than other materials like silicon and helps keep you warm during swimming in winter.
Wearing a swimming hat or cap, especially a neoprene hat, helps your body retain heat during swimming in winter. You can wear more than one hat by making the combinations of silicon and latex hats. It’s well known that your head is the main source of heat leakage, so wearing a good quality hat or combination of hats will be very beneficial to keep you warm.
Boots and Gloves
It may be quite silly, but you will wonder about the amount of heat leakage from the exposed hands and feet, especially when swimming in cold water during winters. A pair of cold water swimming gloves and boots made of neoprene will be very beneficial for you to keep warm while swimming in winter.
During swimming, your ears are affected more than just hearing; therefore, wearing earplugs are essential to stay warm during swimming in winter. Like hands, feet and head, a lot of heat can be leaked from the ears. Therefore it is better to wear earplugs while swimming in cold water.
Step 2: Get moving
You know that when you do any exercise, you get sweaty, and your body becomes warm. You can apply the same rule to keep your body warm during swimming in winter. When you swim with a high stroke rate and rapid kick, it will boost your heart rate and metabolism, which will keep you warm in cold water.
Step 3: Prepare
You can prepare for yourself for cold water swimming in winter in advance, especially if you know the specific date on which you have to swim.
Practice Cold Water Swimming
You may hear that “Practice Makes a Man Perfect.” Well, it can be applied to swimming in winter too. If you know that a swim meet is coming and you have to swim in cold chilled water in the future, you can start practicing in cold water in advance; that will prepare you to swim easier and more smoothly during actual swimming.
If you mentally prepare yourself, you will find the cold water swimming much easier to manage rather than allowing it to shock you.
Step 4: In the Water
It’s time to swim! You have the swimming equipment, prepared yourself, and now you are ready to go into the chilly water. While you are swimming, you can keep yourself warm by following some simple tips for Cold water swimming:
- If you can, try to blow bubbles at a depth of about your waist; this will lessen the shock of cold water.
- Pay attention to exhaling whether you’re swimming backstroke or freestyle.
- Try to switch between freestyle and backstroke.
- Try to enter the cold water slowly and gradually to avoid a big shock to your system.
- Keep drinking warm water in between sets.
Step 4: Warm-up
It’s not a good idea to head straight to the showers immediately after swimming as it may cause complications. So be careful; after finishing swimming, put on warm clothes, drink warm water, and gradually warm up until you are back to normal to get the great benefits of cold water swimming.
Cold water swimming for beginners can be a challenging task if not prepared for it in advance. But if you take your time, understand the risk factors, and know how to overcome them, you will have an unforgettable swim experience.