This post is about the health benefits of swimming in cold seawater. I experienced these health benefits for myself while on holiday right now in Italy, living a Travelife. I’m in the south of #Italy on a two-week beach holiday.
Every day, I go on a drive along the coast of Salento, between the ancient town of Otranto and the equally ancient town of Gallipoli. I look for interesting and beautiful places to go swimming in, such as natural pools and coves. I usually swim before lunch and then again before dinner, in some picturesque rocky cove along the coast.
THE TEMPERATURE OF SEAWATER IN ITALY
“The waters must be freezing,” many of my friends from Asia messaged me, when they found out I was on a beach holiday in Italy, swimming in the sea in early June.
And, indeed, the temperatures of the sea around the coast of Salento generally hover between 18 and 20 degrees on a good day. Sometimes the temperature goes down to 12 or 15 degrees if it’s a cloudy day. So this is certainly no picnic in the sand, although I’ve already had lots of previous practice, jumping into lakes and plunging into pools at temperatures similar to the water in my fridge, in Russia last year.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWIMMING IN COLD SEAWATER
There are many health benefits to swimming in cold seawater. First, it jumpstarts your metabolism and boosts your immunity. It also helps tone your skin and helps to avoid cellulite. Finally, swimming in cold seawater is like a natural anti-depressant. It gives you energy and makes you feel better in every way.
But, apart from the obvious health benefits of swimming in cold seawater, here’s what I’ve been realizing these last few days: Everything in life is a state of mind. And that includes swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea in June, when that first plunge won’t kill you, but it’s still a shock to the senses if you’re used to the warm waters of Asia. Or if you’re used to the 39-degree hot springs pools of Japan and Taiwan for that matter.
MIND OVER MATTER
Quite simply, one morning in Italy I just decided to tell myself the water was warm enough. And then just like that, my experience of swimming in cold seawater changed even if the temperature of the sea really hadn’t changed. Everything in life truly is relative. We may not be able to change the cards and the circumstances that Fate has dealt us with, but we can revise our story of these and this simple act becomes the #gamechanger.
MAKING THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE
So what you have in front of you is actually immaterial. Changing your thoughts towards the direction you choose will change your state of mind. And this is key to determining what will happen next every moment in your life. I can’t over-emphasize this enough. Mindfulness is key, and you do get what you expect.
So, yes, surviving cold waters is simply a state of mind. And the fact that daily cold seawater bathing jumpstarts the metabolism, does wonders for the skin, and helps avoid cellulite, among many other things, sure keeps me motivated to keep doing it twice a day.