Exercising in the gym surrounded by dumbbells and treadmills might be the go-to image for many people; however, studies have shown that exercising in a natural environment has more significant health benefits. Swimming in natural water has been gaining popularity recently, and for a good reason.
Water has a calming effect that allows many people to slip into a meditative state. Swimming, like yoga, focuses heavily on breath control. Breathing patterns stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your organ function and quiets the brain. Many people find that the weight of water has a calming effect. In fact, people living near a coast have reported higher levels of good health and wellbeing.
Cold Water TherapyPlunging yourself into a cold body of water would seem ludicrous to some people; however, swimming in cold water has long-lasting benefits for the body. Like the saying, “no pain, no gain,” Larger bodies of water, like lakes or oceans, tend to have a lower temperature. Swimming in colder water activates your thermoreceptors, temperature receptors under the skin, releasing endorphins, adrenalin, and cortisol.
Additionally, when you swim in cold water, your body heats up, which brings your blood to the surface, and being cold sends it to your organs. This helps your circulation because your blood is being forced through your body to warm it up. Your white blood cell count also increases which helps your body fight off attacks.
Swimmers often talk about a “high” they get after being in the water. Swimming releases endorphins into your brain, the hormone that makes you feel good. Endorphins also act as the body’s natural pain killers.
Saltwater is often used to help flush out your naval system when you are sick. Exposure to salt water while swimming in the ocean can reduce hay fever and sinusitis symptoms, as well as other respiratory symptoms. The saline helps reduce inflammation throughout the respiratory system.
Ocean water differs from river water in that it has significantly higher amounts of minerals, including sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals have been found to help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. For those with eczema, magnesium is greatly beneficial to the skin because it improves moisture retention in the skin.Have no fear for those who cannot reach the ocean. Epsom salt baths are a great substitution. Try out our Bye Bye Sniffles or Bye Bye Dry soak.