Why should you consider adding cold water swimming to your fitness routine?Oct 17, 2023
Swimming is an incredibly powerful full-body exercise. It builds and tones muscle without straining the joints and brings a host of benefits to the cardiovascular system, the body and the mind. As a dancer, swimming can be one of the most beneficial exercises to cross-train with, as the two activities complement each other.
Even better for your overall well-being than temperate swimming, is cold water swimming. If you are looking to change up your fitness routine, here’s why you should consider including cold water swimming to help fine-tune your body and mind.
Mental health benefits
Cold water swimming has gained hype in the media recently for its mental health-boosting qualities, with studies suggesting that it can heighten mood and even make us more resilient to stress. Any weight-bearing exercise, dancing included puts some stress on our joints and muscles so taking an icy dip may be the perfect tonic.
Athletes have long used ice baths to help them recover after training, as the lower temperatures shock the muscles and accelerate the healing process. By enjoying a refreshing cold water swim, you’ll be able to soothe your muscles whilst gaining mental clarity and the sense of exhilaration this unique sport brings. After all, a calm and focused mind is key to a strong and balanced body.
Use different muscles
Cross-training allows you to strengthen different muscles, which reduces your risk of injury. Swimming and ballet go hand in hand read more here.
Swimming also builds on your mind-muscle connection in an environment without the risk of falls or joint strain, which can help dancers to build their muscular strength and control. By switching up your workouts between dancing and swimming, you’ll create a stronger body and have greater versatility in your movements. The buoyancy of the water can also help dancers to release and open up their backs and hip joints, which will increase their flexibility without risk of injury.
Cold water swimming can be a very good cardiovascular workout, as your body naturally pumps blood around faster to keep you warm. This can help to increase your stamina and endurance both in the water and on the dance floor. When you swim, you must pay attention to your breathing and keep it controlled, which is a skill that all good dancers must also learn and practise.
Ballet requires a great amount of strain on the leg muscles and joints, but the arms typically receive less of a workout. Swimming is a brilliant arm and upper-body exercise that can help you achieve a complete body workout as well as a balanced appearance.
Follow safety advice
To keep yourself safe in the water, make sure you follow the recommended safety advice; always listen to your body and never attempt to swim alone. Be aware that jumping into cold water too quickly can result in cold water shock, where you may find it difficult to breathe and stay afloat. Be sure to enter the water slowly and control your breathing, and take your first few sessions slowly to give your body time to adjust.