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Winter Bathing in Denmark
Did you know that over 25 000 people in Denmark are members of nearly 93 different winter swimming clubs and many practice winter bathing otside of that with friends or family. So why would anyone willingly dive into ice cold water? Well, there is a scientific explanation. When you dip your body in ice cold water, then your blood pressure increases, the pulse falls, and the body starts producing stress hormones.
Apart from that it is healthy for both your blood pressure and immune system. According to statistics, people that do winter bathing have fewer sick days and are in better health overal. Did we hook you up until now?
Winter bathing is no joke, so starting alone and in winter is not recommended by researchers. You need to give your body a gradual cold shock, which means it would be best to start in August and continue the activity, as the temperatures get lower and lower. Until the winter your body will get used to it and crave the adrenaline of the cold water. Many people also react to bathing it low temperature with hyperventilation or fainting. In a condition, where you are alone in water that has a deadly outcome, so it is highly important to bath with more experinced swimmers or join a winter swimming club.
Normaly the procedure of winter bathing is:
You start with a dip in the cold water, after which you get warm by enjoying the heat in the sauna. This is repeated a few times and at the end you finish with a cold dip in the sea.
You need to be naked in order to keep your body warm. (So, if you come across naked people when walking around the Parmanente and Aarhus Ø, do not worry, they are just winter bathing!)
As Danes say: When you become a winter bather, you are a winter bather for life.
Here are some practical tips:
- Make sure you are in a good shape when starting the sport
- Bring relevant items with you, such as slippers, towels and
- Try to swim only close to the shore and go out of the water when you start freezing
- Use only places that allow winter bathing
- Try not to eat shortly before going in the cold water, digesting food takes a lot of the body's energy