Ice swimming is a short dive in ice water or swimming in it for short distances, this activity is a kind of winter swimming. During winter swimming, the body quickly loses a lot of heat.
This activity is popular as it helps to strengthen the immune system, improve blood circulation and thermoregulation of the body. Walruses are often viewed as eccentric, and winter swimming is generally accompanied by a lot of myths.
Interestingly, many myths are often mutually exclusive. Consider the main legends about this unusual but useful activity.
Walruses never catch cold. This is not true, walruses are also prone to colds, although much less frequently than ordinary people.
Winter swimming helps to develop muscles and improve the figure. Walruses do not have to be pumped up and fit. After all, this lesson improves the work of many body systems, however, it does not affect the amount of muscle mass. To increase it, it is necessary to engage in motor or strength exercises along with winter swimming.
Before and after winter swimming, it is necessary to drink strong alcoholic beverages. This rule does not apply to real walruses, who do not drink before winter swimming, as this leads to a violation of the body's natural thermoregulation, which entails negative consequences. Some people immediately after immersion in ice water use strong drinks "for warming", but this has nothing to do with true warming, this is their own business. By the way, it is highly discouraged to consume cold drinks at all, because this will further cool the respiratory tract.
When swimming, it is imperative to dive headlong into the water. Or, on the contrary, another myth says that in no case should you dive headlong into water. If you have just started doing winter swimming, it is still not recommended to dip your head in water. But experienced walruses, in accordance with the degree of their hardening, can already dive headlong.
Before entering the ice-cold water, take a steam bath in a hot bath. Or the other extreme - before entering the water, you need to undress and cool down a little. It is recommended to do some exercises before the start of ice swimming, albeit a little one, which will warm you, run, squat. It is not necessary to take a hot bath. But it is strictly not recommended to cool down specially before swimming in the ice-hole!
Winter swimming is permissible only in places where there is a warm room next to the ice-hole so that you can change clothes or a bath. If the frosts are light and the wind is weak, then it is quite possible to change clothes in the open air. A warm room next to the ice hole is needed for winter swimming in severe frosts.
In Siberia, it is impossible to practice winter swimming, as there are severe frosts. In Siberia, the possibilities of winter swimming are more difficult than in the center of the country, since it is difficult to keep the ice hole open. However, for experienced walruses this is not an obstacle - the experience of walruses in the Urals, Altai and Krasnoyarsk testifies.
Before starting winter swimming lessons, you need to prepare the body - to undergo a hardening course, taking a cold shower. It turns out that the effect of a cold shower can be even stronger than ice water. This happens due to the fact that a person is motionless under the shower, he does not warm up internally. Also, the body does not have time to heat the cold water around itself, as it immediately leaves, being replaced by the next portion. Thus, the cooling is more intense. Therefore, you should not undergo any special training, you can start swimming in the ice hole right away, first limiting the time you spend in the water, and for the first experiments choosing the weather with a thaw and a slight wind.
There are no contraindications for winter swimming. There are a number of diseases, the owners of which are not recommended to plunge into a cold hole. First of all, this applies to diseases of the cardiovascular system, broncho-pulmonary diseases, diseases of the thyroid gland, and the genitourinary system. Doctors note that even for healthy people, winter swimming can become dangerous due to vasospasm, the appearance of seizures, and excessive heat loss of the body. Winter swimming can create excitement that dampens reasonable caution. Therefore, in the event of ailments and discomfort, it is better to suspend classes and consult a doctor.
Real winter swimming is swimming in an ice-hole in winter. By the strength of the effect of cold water with a temperature of 4-8 ° C is similar to the effect of ice, therefore, winter swimming can be practiced from autumn to spring, inclusive, even in those regions where there are no freezing reservoirs at all - we are talking, for example, about the Black Sea, the south of the Baltic, North Sea and so on. And if there are ponds with cold spring water nearby, then winter swimming is possible even in summer!
In an ice hole, water is always above zero, usually + 4 ° C. Indeed, water has the highest density precisely at 4 ° C. In frozen reservoirs, such water, relatively warm, sinks to the bottom, while on the surface there are colder layers, with a temperature of about 0 ° C. It is there that walruses dive. During the preparation of the hole, the layers can be mixed, which can increase the temperature on the surface layer by 1-2 ° C. But sea water can be cooled down to -2 ° C.
Winter swimming is a primordially Russian occupation, there is no such thing abroad. Walrus clubs are scattered all over the world, they are in Belgium and Finland, Canada, USA and China.
Walruses are spontaneous and disorganized people. This is not true, in Russia, for example, there is a whole Federation of Tempering and Sports Swimming, which is promoting this activity, uniting people. On numerous winter swimming sites, you can meet experienced people and get valuable advice.