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Open AccessReview

Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review

1
Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland
2
Institute of Sport Science, Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, 40-065 Katowice, Poland
3
Department of Sports Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation Moscow, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, 19c1 Moscow, Russia
4
Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
5
Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5, Canada
6
School of Health and Caring Sciences, University of West Attica, 12243 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8984; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984
Received: 11 October 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 30 November 2020 / Published: 2 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
Cold water swimming (winter or ice swimming) has a long tradition in northern countries. Until a few years ago, ice swimming was practiced by very few extreme athletes. For some years now, ice swimming has been held as competitions in ice-cold water (colder than 5 °C). The aim of this overview is to present the current status of benefits and risks for swimming in cold water. When cold water swimming is practiced by experienced people with good health in a regular, graded and adjusted mode, it appears to bring health benefits. However, there is a risk of death in unfamiliar people, either due to the initial neurogenic cold shock response or due to a progressive decrease in swimming efficiency or hypothermia. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypothermia; endurance sports; adaptation; heart; immune system hypothermia; endurance sports; adaptation; heart; immune system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Knechtle, B.; Waśkiewicz, Z.; Sousa, C.V.; Hill, L.; Nikolaidis, P.T. Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8984. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984

AMA Style

Knechtle B, Waśkiewicz Z, Sousa CV, Hill L, Nikolaidis PT. Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8984. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984

Chicago/Turabian Style

Knechtle, Beat; Waśkiewicz, Zbigniew; Sousa, Caio V.; Hill, Lee; Nikolaidis, Pantelis T. 2020. "Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 8984. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984

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