Cold water swimming

Cold water swimming

Do you often wake up feeling like you don’t want to get out of bed, and the only thing that can wake you up is that big rush of caffeine? Well, here at MoaAlm we prefer natural ways of making you feel alive.

I still remember my grandmother taking me out it the middle of the cold Lithuanian winter and asking me to walk barefoot on the snow. At that time I didn’t realize that she was sharing such beautiful old and wise medicine ‘cold therapy’, as it is called today.

Glacier lakes in Austria for cold water swimming
Glacier lakes for cold water swimming

It makes sense that cold water makes us feel alive. Our ancestors lived in cold and discomfort for many years, yet they felt strong and healthy. In this modern world, where discomfort is associated with pain and suffering, we tend to do everything but not let ourselves to feel uncomfortable. Yet, one little cold shower in the morning and your body produces so many endorphins that you just naturally want to jump and dance all day.

Because we wear clothes and artificially control the temperatures at home and at work, we've greatly reduced the natural stimulation of our bodies, atrophying the age-old mechanisms related to our survival and basic function. Because these deeper physiological layers are no longer triggered, our bodies are no longer in touch with our inner power. However, this powerful force  can be reawakened by stimulating it with cold water swimming.

Do you know that feeling when you have butterflies in your belly when you fall in love or when you get goose pimples listening to a beautiful song? That’s the endorphins rush in your body. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers and, in the case of a cold dip, it uses them to take the sting away from your skin. So, to get high on your own supply, all you need to do is jump in a river! 

The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression.

Cold water swimming is a powerful tool for boosting your immune system. 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 mobilizing its defenses.

It also flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries by forcing blood to the surface and pushing the cold downwards. In other words, it helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold.

I could write more. There are so many benefits of cold water swimming that I may even bore you with them. I also have become recently obsessed with Wim Hoff!

Glacier lakes cold water swimming
A glacier lake close to MoaAlm Mountain Retreat

Here at MoaAlm we are extremely lucky to have a cold and refreshing mountain river right on our doorstep, and even few lakes easily reached with an hours walk. It would be a shame, knowing so much about cold water benefits, not to take  advantage of our unique location to  experience them for ourselves.

So this week, we marched down to the river and dunked ourselves in. It was frightfully cold, the recent snow melt cooling the glacial river more than usual. But it felt so good that we will be going back to the river again and again.

Have you ever tried cold water swimming? Would you like to join us and experience this fantastic opportunity to feel better each day? Don’t wait, we still have availability here in our lovely Mountain Retreat this summer. We can’t wait to share it with you!

Ligita Lape