Article

Winter swimming improves general well-being

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This study deals with the effects of regular winter swimming on the mood of the swimmers. Profile of Mood State (POMS) and OIRE questionnaires were completed before (October) and after (January) the four-month winter swimming period. In the beginning, there were no significant differences in the mood states and subjective feelings between the swimmers and the controls. The swimmers had more diseases (about 50%) diagnosed by a physician. Tension, fatigue, memory and mood negative state points in the swimmers significantly decreased with the duration of the swimming period. After four months, the swimmers felt themselves to be more energetic, active and brisk than the controls. Vigour-activity scores were significantly greater (p < 0.05). All swimmers who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma, reported that winter swimming had relieved pains. Improvement of general well-being is thus a benefit induced by regular winter swimming.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Większość morsów zażywa pierwszych lodowatych kąpieli kierowana ciekawością, a morsowanie szybko staje się ich hobby. Dla zabieganych ludzi jest to idealne zajęcie, ponieważ nie wymaga wiele czasu [24]. Uprawianie tej formy rekreacji ma przewagę nad pozostałymi również dzięki temu, że nie wymaga znacznych nakładów nansowych. ...
... O ile wpływ zimna podczas ekspozycji w kriokomorach i kriosaunach jest szeroko opisywany w literaturze naukowej, mechanizmy zachodzące w czasie stosowania kąpieli w wodzie o temperaturze bliskiej 0°C nie zostały dotychczas tak dokładnie poznane. Wiele dowodów potwierdzających korzyści, wynikające z zimnych kąpieli pochodzi z badań przeprowadzonych na małych grupach, stąd potrzeba głębszej analizy skutków takich zabiegów [24].Należy pamiętać, że oddziaływanie zimnej wody może wywoływać nieco inne reakcje, niż te spowodowane działaniem zimnego powietrza. Uwzględnić należy przede wszystkim sposób, w jaki przekazywane jest ciepło. ...
... Hiperwentylacja oraz tachykardia, które są zjologicznymi następstwami gwałtownego ochłodzenia, u doświad-czonych morsów są słabiej wyrażone niż u osób niestosujących zimnych kąpieli [15]. Morsowanie może zwiększyć zdolność do wytrzymywania także innych rodzajów stresu [24]. Mila-Kierzenkowska i wsp. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Korzystne działanie zimna na organizm człowieka znane jest już od czasów starożytnych. Obecnie chętnie wykorzystywane jest w fizjoterapii oraz odnowie biologicznej. Zalety działania zimna na organizm znane są też morsom – entuzjastom kąpieli w zimnych akwenach wodnych w okresie zimowym. Celem niniejszej pracy jest przedstawienie korzyści oraz zagrożeń wynikających z uprawiania tej formy rekreacji. Zimno stanowi silny środek przeciwbólowy oraz pobudza wiele procesów fizjologicznych, przyczyniając się w ten sposób do szybszego odzyskiwania sprawności. W Polsce i na świecie, co roku wzrasta liczba zwolenników lodowatych kąpieli. Morsowanie stało również się przedmiotem interesujących badań dla naukowców. Zauważono, że regularna ekspozycja na niską temperaturę przyczynia się do poprawy samopoczucia, przyspiesza regenerację po wysiłku oraz chroni przed szkodliwym działaniem wolnych rodników. Morsowanie zwiększa ponadto tolerancję na zimno i przyczynia się do hartowania ciała. Należy jednak pamiętać, że gwałtowne ochłodzenie organizmu wiąże się z pewnym ryzykiem. Wyniki dotychczasowych badań potwierdzają korzystny wpływ uprawiania tej formy rekreacji na zdrowie człowieka. Przy zachowaniu odpowiednich środków ostrożności morsowanie może być wyjątkowym sposobem spędzania wolnego czasu i sposobnością poznania interesujących osób.
... The other study (Roundy and Cooney, 1968) demonstrated that abdominal cold packs and cold showers can reduce physical fatigue in adults [3]. After that, there seems to be a long gap in literature in this field and the effects of systemic cooling on fatigue were revisited only at the beginning of the 21 th century by a series of studies that included both healthy subjects and some groups of patients [4][5][6]. It should be noted that there were also several published studies on the effects of local cooling on muscle fatigue in the 1950s-70s [7][8][9][10][11]. ...
... It was concluded that the cooling suit can significantly improve quality of life of multiple sclerosis patients (the majority of whom are heat-sensitive) [4]. Another series of studies investigated physiological effects of winter swimming, a practice that is rather widespread in Scandinavian countries [5,14,15]. After participants in the initial studies reported improved mood and reduced tiredness [14,15], Huttunen et al. (2004) set out to specifically investigate the effects of winter swimming on mood and fatigue [5]. ...
... Another series of studies investigated physiological effects of winter swimming, a practice that is rather widespread in Scandinavian countries [5,14,15]. After participants in the initial studies reported improved mood and reduced tiredness [14,15], Huttunen et al. (2004) set out to specifically investigate the effects of winter swimming on mood and fatigue [5]. In that study, a mixed group of volunteers (both healthy subjects and some patients with somatic disorders) used winter swimming 4 times per week for 4 months starting in October. ...
Article
At least eight studies published since 1962 suggest that moderate cooling of the body (in most cases by means of cold water) can reduce fatigue in healthy subjects and in some groups of patients: fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. To date, there have been no studies on the effectiveness of this approach in CFS, aside from a pilot study in Australia, which used contrast water therapy in combination with nutritional and exercise interventions. Psychostimulant medications, the anti-fatigue therapy with the strongest level of clinical evidence for a number of disorders, do not appear to be effective in CFS patients. The possible mechanisms of the anti-fatigue effect of cooling may involve the following: A) A reduction of the total level of serotonin in the brain, as evidenced by direct measurements in laboratory animals and by a drop of the plasma prolactin level in human subjects; this would be consistent with reduced fatigue according to "the serotonin hypothesis of central fatigue." B) Activation of stress-response pathways such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system. C) Systemic analgesia and reduced muscle pain in particular; this may be mediated by a spike in the plasma level of beta-endorphin, an opioid peptide, as well as by the gate control effects of sensory stimulation by cold water. D) Activation of components of the brainstem arousal system, such as raphe nuclei and locus ceruleus (most likely associated with activation of the sympathetic nervous system). This diffuse modulatory system controls the sleep/wake cycle and minor lesions correlate with severe chronic fatigue. E) Possible activation of relevant dopaminergic pathways in the brain, such as those projecting to the striatum. F) Activation of the thyroid and increased metabolic rate. Interestingly, B, D and E resemble physiological effects of psychostimulants. Importantly, A, B, C, and possibly D, seem to be relevant to the pathophysiology of CFS and suggest that repeated moderate cooling may be beneficial for the patients. Successful application of this approach in CFS would require devising a procedure that is acceptable to patients, since regular cold showers and cold-water swimming are highly stressful. If the procedure does not involve psychological distress, inhalation of cold air, and hypothermia, then it would be expected to have little or no adverse effects on health. A lifetime experiment on rats has shown that repeated moderate cooling is most likely safe, at least in healthy subjects.
... Despite the large number of rigorous older swimmers, our study yields no conclusions about cold-water swimming and longevity. Prior work has suggested a wide variety of possible health benefits related to swimming in cold water [32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39], including improved immune response [34,35], beneficial hormonal changes including insulin modulation and improved glucose regulation [36], antioxidative protection [37,38], improvements in general well-being and energy levels [39], and symptomatic relief in patients with medical conditions such as asthma and fibromyalgia [39]. We did not study any of these outcomes or parameters, and we are cautious about attributing health advantages to cold-water swimming beyond the exercise benefits we discuss above. ...
... Despite the large number of rigorous older swimmers, our study yields no conclusions about cold-water swimming and longevity. Prior work has suggested a wide variety of possible health benefits related to swimming in cold water [32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39], including improved immune response [34,35], beneficial hormonal changes including insulin modulation and improved glucose regulation [36], antioxidative protection [37,38], improvements in general well-being and energy levels [39], and symptomatic relief in patients with medical conditions such as asthma and fibromyalgia [39]. We did not study any of these outcomes or parameters, and we are cautious about attributing health advantages to cold-water swimming beyond the exercise benefits we discuss above. ...
... Despite the large number of rigorous older swimmers, our study yields no conclusions about cold-water swimming and longevity. Prior work has suggested a wide variety of possible health benefits related to swimming in cold water [32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39], including improved immune response [34,35], beneficial hormonal changes including insulin modulation and improved glucose regulation [36], antioxidative protection [37,38], improvements in general well-being and energy levels [39], and symptomatic relief in patients with medical conditions such as asthma and fibromyalgia [39]. We did not study any of these outcomes or parameters, and we are cautious about attributing health advantages to cold-water swimming beyond the exercise benefits we discuss above. ...
... Swimming develops self concept and improves adaptive behaviour (Kurokawa and Ikegami, 1980;yilmaz et al., 2004). mostly people prefer swimming as a hobby for pleasure (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). There is a belief that swimming in cold water is beneficial to health (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). ...
... mostly people prefer swimming as a hobby for pleasure (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). There is a belief that swimming in cold water is beneficial to health (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). Swimming reduces tiredness and fatigue, improves self esteem, boosts mood and relieves pain from many diseases (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). ...
... There is a belief that swimming in cold water is beneficial to health (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). Swimming reduces tiredness and fatigue, improves self esteem, boosts mood and relieves pain from many diseases (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004). Swimming motion showed excellent effect when compared to other sports in participants' health and reducing stress (Berger and Humphrey, 1986;Judge et al., 1993) (Huttunen, Kokko and ylijukuri, 2004;lee and oh, 2013). ...
... Although a significant number of studies confirm the benefits of swimming for mental health, the majority discuss either indoor swimming or outdoor swimming in rivers and lakes (Lazar et al. 2013;Petrescu, Piţigoi, and Păunescu 2014;Huttunen, Kokko, and Ylijukuri 2004;Van Tulleken et al. 2018). However, few studies analyse openwater sea swimming (Petrescu, Piţigoi, and Păunescu 2014;Huttunen, Kokko, and Ylijukuri 2004;Van Tulleken et al. 2018). ...
... Although a significant number of studies confirm the benefits of swimming for mental health, the majority discuss either indoor swimming or outdoor swimming in rivers and lakes (Lazar et al. 2013;Petrescu, Piţigoi, and Păunescu 2014;Huttunen, Kokko, and Ylijukuri 2004;Van Tulleken et al. 2018). However, few studies analyse openwater sea swimming (Petrescu, Piţigoi, and Păunescu 2014;Huttunen, Kokko, and Ylijukuri 2004;Van Tulleken et al. 2018). These studies highlight how sea swimming can promote good mental health. ...
... In a study carried out in the U.K., a patient with diagnosed major MDD and anxiety was accompanied to regular open water swimming workouts. After three months, the patient no longer met the criteria for major depression (DSM-IV or ICD-10), showed no symptoms of anxiety, and was medication-free (Huttunen, Kokko, and Ylijukuri 2004). ...
Article
Non-motorized water sports requiring physical efforts such as swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and surfing are becoming increasingly popular in Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs). This research investigates the relationship between these types of water sports and practitioners’ psychological and mental health. It takes the MPAs of Cap de Creus and Gulf of Roses (north-western Mediterranean) as a case study and is underpinned by a literature review and in-depth interviews with specialized water sports instructors. Results provide evidence that doing non-motorized water sports in the sea has positive outcomes for practitioners’ physical and mental health. When done in well-preserved areas, these sports may be a viable tool for both wellness and health recovery, and could be introduced in the community as a preventative and rehabilitation health strategy. This should be accompanied by strategies to address the ecological impacts these sports may have on MPAs.
... Several studies have suggested that cold water swimming has a wide variety of health benefits [3], including changes in hematological [4] and endocrine function [5,6], fewer upper respiratory tract infections [7], amelioration of mood disorders [8] and general well-being [9]. Although chronic exposure to colder water temperatures has been shown to be beneficial to one's health, several studies have outlined the potential risks [10][11][12][13]. ...
... According to Hippocrates, water therapy relieved fatigue, and later, Thomas Jefferson reportedly used a cold foot bath every morning for six decades to keep him healthy [15]. It is believed that these health benefits are a result of the physiological reactions and biochemical milieu caused by exposure to cold water [9,48]. Physiological changes occur acutely during cold water swimming, with repeated cold-water swimming developing adaptations that can also affect health. ...
... Swimming in ice-cold water has also been shown to have a positive effect on the mental side of humans [9,12,64] and can even be anti-depressive [8]. Regular winter swimming led to an improvement in general well-being in swimmers who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma [9]. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... In contemporary times, winter swimming—regularly taking a bath in ice-cold water during the winter season for health reasons—has become a popular practice in Nordic countries (Dugue and Leppanen, 2000). Winter swimmers believe that they become sick less often and that cold stimulation improves their ability to address with daily stress (Huttunen et al., 2004; Lubkowska et al., 2013). Today, cold application remedies are being developed in the medicine, health and sport domains. ...
... WBC and PBC treatments are used to relieve depression and anxiety syndromes ( ). Previously, investigations in winter swimmers were performed to assess the effect of cold on well-being (Huttunen et al., 2004Huttunen et al., , 2001). In these studies, the adaption to cold was associated with a decrease in tension and fatigue and with an improvement in mood and memory. ...
... In these studies, the adaption to cold was associated with a decrease in tension and fatigue and with an improvement in mood and memory. Winter swimmers reported feeling more vigorous, energetic, and active after a winter swimming period of four months (Huttunen et al., 2004). WBC and PBC were later used in the sports domain because cold exposure studies demonstrated their potential to enhance physical exercise recovery. ...
... As a form of exercise, winter swimming entails aerobic activity; however, this becomes more laborious and strenuous when performed in cold water environments. When practiced by individuals who are in good general health adopting a regular, progressive, and adaptive mode, winter swimming appears to confer cardiovascular (CV) and other health benefits (2)(3)(4). On the other hand, unaccustomed individuals, when acutely exposed to cold water, depending on the degree of coldness, are at risk of death either from the initial neurogenic cold-shock response, or from progressive decrease of swimming efficiency or from hypothermia (5)(6)(7). Furthermore, as with any intense and strenuous exercise (8), individuals with evident or occult underlying CV conditions may be more susceptible to adverse effects with provocation and exacerbation of arrhythmias and CV events that may pose a significant health risk (6). ...
... Even better, adaptation to cold water and regular practice of this activity has been deemed beneficial to health and well-being. Winter swimmers claim to be more energetic, active, and brisk than the controls, achieving greater vigor-activity scores (4). Swimmers afflicted by arthritis, fibromyalgia, or asthma report that winter swimming offers good relief from pains and other physical symptoms together with decreased tension and fatigue and improved mood and memory (4). ...
... Winter swimmers claim to be more energetic, active, and brisk than the controls, achieving greater vigor-activity scores (4). Swimmers afflicted by arthritis, fibromyalgia, or asthma report that winter swimming offers good relief from pains and other physical symptoms together with decreased tension and fatigue and improved mood and memory (4). ...
Article
Winter swimming is a stressful condition of whole-body exposure to cold water; however, winter swimmers have achieved variable degrees of adaptation to cold. The question arises whether this extreme sport activity has any health benefits or whether it may confer potentially harmful effects. As a form of aerobic exercise, albeit more strenuous when performed in cold water, winter swimming may increase body tolerance to stressors and achieve body hardening. When practiced by individuals who are in good general health adopting a regular, graded and adaptive mode, winter swimming seems to confer cardiovascular (CV), and other health benefits. On the other hand, unaccustomed individuals are at risk of death either from the initial neurogenic cold-shock response, or from progressive decrease of swimming efficiency or from hypothermia. Furthermore, as it may occur with any intense exercise, individuals with evident or occult underlying CV conditions may be more susceptible to adverse effects with provocation of arrhythmias and CV events that may pose a significant health risk. Hence, a stepwise strategy to initiate and build up this recreational activity is recommended to enhance and sustain acclimation, achieve protection from potential risks of cold-water exposure and possibly avail from its promising health benefits. We need more data from prospective studies to better investigate the short- and long-term health consequences of this important recreational activity.
... Most studies explored humans engaging with oceans. One case study examined swimming in a lake (van Tulleken et al., 2018) and two studies were unclear about the water environments (Lindeman, Hirvonen & Joukamaa, 2002;Huttunen et al., 2004). Sub-themes of the meaning of engaging with the marine environment emerged: risk and unpredictability, achievement and enabling engagement for people with disabilities. ...
... Other studies with a broader age range viewed physical health as an important outcome of engaging with water. A Finnish non-randomised quantitative study evaluated the effects of regular winter swimming on wellbeing (n=49) (Huttunen et al., 2004). Unlike previous studies that explore swimming in cold or temperate waters (Foley, 2015;Costello et al., 2019) this study explored a quick dip in ice-cold waters in winter (Huttenen et al., 2004). ...
... Despite positive findings, limitations were evident. While Huttunen et al. (2004) utilised a validated measure to evaluate mood (Leunes & Burger, 2000), recruitment bias was present. Swimmers were asked to include their friends who were non-swimmers to act as controls, reducing control of confounding variables. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Background: There has been an increase in swimming in natural bodies of water in Ireland as documented as anecdotal evidence (Fitzmaurice, 2017; Swain, 2019). However, limited research has explored this phenomenon. Being immersed in nature, exercising and being part of a community contribute to better mental and physical health (Costello et al., 2019). There is a growing interest in promoting blue space for human health and wellbeing (Gascon et al., 2017; Britton et al., 2018). The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning that adults attribute to open water swimming in natural bodies of water. Method: The interpretative phenomenological paradigm guided this research. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the in-depth experience of open water swimming. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to interpret the meaning that participants attributed to open water swimming. Results Open water swimming was found to be a multi-faceted experience imbued with meaning. Participants (n = 5) reported swimming as a necessary occupation for maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing and forming meaningful connections with the social environment, nature and their true selves. Conclusion This study contributes to the understanding of the meaning of open water swimming for adults in Ireland. Understanding the meaning of open water swimming may add to the body of evidence exploring blue space to promote health. This research provides an interesting view of open water swimming through an occupational therapy lens that may provide an alternative perspective for viewing engagement within blue space.
... One type of repeated intentional visit to blue spaces that is receiving more research attention is outdoor (or wild) swimming. Wild swimming can reduce fatigue (Huttunen et al., 2004), promote mental health (Foley, 2015(Foley, , 2017Denton and Aranda, 2019), and may be able to be used in treating major depressive disorder (MDD, van Tulleken et al., 2018). There is also tentative evidence that it can promote immune functioning (Tipton et al., 2017), treatment of inflammation-related conditions (Huttunen et al., 2004;Tipton et al., 2017) and support higher insulin sensitivity (Gibas-Dorna et al., 2016). ...
... Wild swimming can reduce fatigue (Huttunen et al., 2004), promote mental health (Foley, 2015(Foley, , 2017Denton and Aranda, 2019), and may be able to be used in treating major depressive disorder (MDD, van Tulleken et al., 2018). There is also tentative evidence that it can promote immune functioning (Tipton et al., 2017), treatment of inflammation-related conditions (Huttunen et al., 2004;Tipton et al., 2017) and support higher insulin sensitivity (Gibas-Dorna et al., 2016). Individuals who swim outdoors regularly also report experiencing increased connection to place and the natural environment (Denton and Aranda, 2019;Foley, 2015Foley, , 2017, which may in turn lead to behaviours aimed at protecting the health promoting aspects of these blue spaces. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research into the potential health and well-being benefits from exposure to green spaces such as parks and woodlands has led to the development of several frameworks linking the different strands of evidence. The current paper builds on these to provide a model of how exposure to aquatic environments, or blue spaces such as rivers, lakes and the coast, in particular, may benefit health and well-being. Although green and blue spaces share many commonalities, there are also important differences. Given the breadth of the research, spanning multiple disciplines and research methodologies, a narrative review approach was adopted which aimed to highlight key issues and processes rather than provide a definitive balance of evidence summary. Novel aspects of our framework included the inclusion of outcomes that are only indirectly good for health through being good for the environment, the addition of nature connectedness as both a trait and state, and feedback loops where actions/interventions to increase exposure are implemented. Limitations of the review and areas for future work, including the need to integrate potential benefits with potential risks, are discussed.
... Other cold-based practices have also developed in contemporary times, especially in northern countries, e.g. winter swimming: this activity relies on regularly bathing in ice-cold water, during the winter season, based on the belief that it reduces the frequency of sickness and improves the ability to address with daily stresses [3,[9][10][11]. ...
... Recently, WBC and PBC have also been used in psychiatry, to improve mental well-being, in depression and anxiety syndromes [48], a research topic borrowed from previous investigations in winter swimmers, demonstrating a decrease in tension and fatigue and an improvement in mood, memory and well-being [9]. Improvement of sleep quality has also been reported [8]. ...
Chapter
Cold treatment is a popular therapy used by anyone in order to relieve or prevent pain and swelling after trauma, inflammatory conditions or any other condition from which pain originates. Nowadays, cold therapy treatments, referable as both whole-body and partial-body cryotherapy, are available and they are based on exposure to extremely cold air (either atmospheric air or liquid nitrogen vapours), with temperature ranging between −110 and −160 °C, in special chambers.
... One type of repeated intentional visit to blue spaces that is receiving more research attention is outdoor (or wild) swimming. Wild swimming can reduce fatigue (Huttunen et al., 2004), promote mental health (Foley, 2015(Foley, , 2017Denton and Aranda, 2019), and may be able to be used in treating major depressive disorder (MDD, van Tulleken et al., 2018). There is also tentative evidence that it can promote immune functioning (Tipton et al., 2017), treatment of inflammation-related conditions (Huttunen et al., 2004;Tipton et al., 2017) and support higher insulin sensitivity (Gibas-Dorna et al., 2016). ...
... Wild swimming can reduce fatigue (Huttunen et al., 2004), promote mental health (Foley, 2015(Foley, , 2017Denton and Aranda, 2019), and may be able to be used in treating major depressive disorder (MDD, van Tulleken et al., 2018). There is also tentative evidence that it can promote immune functioning (Tipton et al., 2017), treatment of inflammation-related conditions (Huttunen et al., 2004;Tipton et al., 2017) and support higher insulin sensitivity (Gibas-Dorna et al., 2016). Individuals who swim outdoors regularly also report experiencing increased connection to place and the natural environment (Denton and Aranda, 2019;Foley, 2015Foley, , 2017, which may in turn lead to behaviours aimed at protecting the health promoting aspects of these blue spaces. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, Mathew P. White, Lewis R. Elliott, Mireia Gascon, Bethany Roberts and Lora E. Fleming present an overarching review of the evidence from the current research literature and from the findings of the research carried out in the BlueHealth project in order to provide the best evidence planners and designers can use to support their policies, plans and projects. It is essentially an overview of the current knowledge, extensively but not exhaustively referenced and presented in a way which is accessible to professional and student readers. It integrates the benefits and risks by showing that the one often comes with the other. © 2022 selection and editorial matter, Simon Bell, Lora E. Fleming, James Grellier, Friedrich Kuhlmann, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, and Mathew P. White.
... Closely related to the erythrocytic membrane, AChE is one of the most important proteins able to ensure the integrity of the red cell membrane. The outer-membrane location of the enzyme makes it susceptible to the presence of oxidants in the body that affect the membrane structure of the blood cells 17 . The effectiveness of AChE membrane activity is largely due to the parameters of the blood cells and cell membrane. ...
... From the point of view of antioxidant enzyme activity, G-6-PD is an enzyme that is significantly associated with reduced glutathione. The overriding function of G-6-PD is to reduce the form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and ribose-5-phosphate, which play a significant role in the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and membrane lipids 17 . These processes play a key role in the properties and functioning of the erythrocyte membrane, protecting the so-called thiol groups of membrane proteins from oxidation 18 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Study aim: The aim of the study was to show changes in the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) in winter swimmers between the end (April) and beginning of the consecutive winter swimming season (November). Material and methodology: The study group consisted of 16 winter swimmers (non-training males) from the Krakow “Kaloryfer” [Radiators] Winter Swimming Club, regularly undergoing submersion in cold water at a temperature of 2-7.2ºC for a maximum of three minutes during the winter swimming season. The tests were carried out at the end and before the beginning of the following winter season using the method of spectrophotometry. Results: Analysing the average values of enzymes after (April) and before the next (November) winter bathing season, there was a decrease in the activity of AChE [U/gHb] by 18.26% and G-6-PD [U/gHb] by 22.11% in men undergoing winter baths. Conclusions: Regular use of winter bath treatments results in increased enzyme activity: AChE and G-6-PD; and while break in winter swimming reduces the activity of these enzymes.
... The healing properties of low temperature are also the basis of cold-air whole-body cryotherapy, which is used to treat arthritic diseases, muscle soreness, and sports injuries (1,2). Regular cold swims are believed to improve the general well-being, as well several parameters associated with oxidative stress, immunology response, and the rheological, morphological, and biochemical blood profiles (3)(4)(5). On the other hand, an unhealthy effect of longtime regular winter swimming on cardiac and cerebrovascular risk has also been reported recently (6). Increased mortality associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) implications is more frequently observed in the winter season (7). ...
... Generally, cold water swimming is believed to act favorably on the health of swimmers. This been confirmed in our study and in those of others who have documented its positive effect on oxidative stress capacity, blood parameter patterns, insulin sensitivity, and even mood and memory of CWS (3,4,5,21). ...
Article
Full-text available
It has been proposed that regular cold swimming is associated with health benefits. However, the effect of cold adaptation on particular cardiovascular risk factors, within a single swimming season, remains unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of cold water swimming on the seasonal changes in lipid profile and on apolipoprotein and homocysteine concentration in 34 cold water swimmers (CWS) aged 48 - 68 years. Blood samples were collected at the beginning (October), the middle (January), and the end (April) of the swimming season. Body mass (BM), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides (TG), ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and homocysteine concentrations were evaluated. In October, female CWS showed lower BM (P = 0.01), TG concentrations (P = 0.03), and ApoB/ApoA-I ratios (P = 0.008), and higher HDL (P = 0.01) than in men. Similar trends in BM (P = 0.002), HDL (P = 0.0006), and ApoB/ApoA-I ratio (P = 0.01) were seen in January, and for BM (P = 0.002), TG (P = 0.005), HDL (P = 0.003), and ApoB/ApoA-I (P = 0.01) in April. A decrease in TG concentration between January and April (P = 0.05), lower homocysteine concentration between October and January (P = 0.01), and between October and April (P = 0.001) were documented in CWS. A strong drop in homocysteine concentration was observed in female versus male CWS (P = 0.001 versus P = 0.032), particularly between October and April in women (P = 0.001) and October and January in men (P = 0.05). The ApoB/ApoA-I ratio in female CWS decreased over the season (P = 0.02), particularly between October and January (P = 0.05), and a trend toward the TG concentration to reduce over the swimming season was also observed in female CWS. No beneficial changes were noticed in the control group over the season. Our results suggest that the favorable effect of cold swimming on the cardiovascular risk factors may be gender-dependent; further studies are thus needed to draw a precise conclusion.
... Largely anecdotal evidence extols the virtues of CWI or cold water swimming as a means of improving well-being and health (Digby, 1587, cited by Parr, 2011. These health benefits are believed to be a consequence of the physiological responses and biochemical milieu that occur from exposure to cold water (Huttunen et al. 2004;Kukkonen-Harjula & Kauppinen, 2006). Physiological changes occur acutely during CWI, with repeated bouts of CWI adaptive responses develop that may also impact upon indices of health. ...
... As noted, historical documents and anecdotal evidence extol the virtues of CWI or cold water swimming as a means of improving well-being and health (Digby, 1587, cited by Parr, 2011). These health benefits are believed to be a consequence of the physiological responses to CWI and, particularly, alterations in these responses with cold water adaptation (Huttunen et al. 2004;Kukkonen-Harjula & Kauppinen, 2006). However, although controlled trials investigating the therapeutic use of CWI are lacking, there is a theoretical, physiological basis suggesting that this is an area worthy of investigation (Shevchuk, 2008;Harper, 2012). ...
Article
https://theconversation.com/is-a-cold-water-swim-good-for-you-or-more-likely-to-send-you-to-the-bottom-89513
... Most research concerning leisure swimming have focused on health benefits such as anthropometric indicators 6 , effect in blood pressure [7], a decrease in morbidity risks or general well being [8]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Our research started from the idea that swimming activity can help in reducing the sedentary among youth and having a positive impact on the bio-motor result of children highlighted through the comparative analyzer of anthropometric indices from our sample and also keeping them away from physical deficiency such as spine and knee deficiency and also flat feet. Also, we investigated the influence of the electronic device usage such as a laptop, smart phone and iPad on the physical development. The research took place at the TFM MARCO POLO Water Sports Club from Tîrgu Mureş in partnership with the University of Medicine, Science and Technology of Tîrgu Mureş and had as research a sample of 97 kids that practice swimming. We used in our inquiry the Pearson and the Mann Whitney correlation with whom we calculated the relevance of differences between cases. The results of our research revealed that if we had multiple instances of knee deficiency or flat feet in our experiment group, the swimming prophylactic proprieties showed by many scientific studies helped our experiment group to overcome and enhance the knee and feet deficiency, meanwhile the only substantial variation identified in our experiment group was at the usage of the laptop, with a p>0.05, we found out that kids that use this device have significant spine deficiencies because of the body position. The conclusions showed us that electronic devices used by more and more youth population with influence on physical development and physical deficiency and that swimming activities can be decisive in the prophylactic program for youth efficient development. Keywords: Swimming, Development deficiency, Sedentary, Electronic devices.
... Sauna bathing, alone or combined with winter swimming, is a traditional and popular recreational activity in Northern countries, especially Finland. Sauna sessions and winter swimming are believed to relieve the work-related stress, to refresh mind, and to improve quality of sleep [1,2]. ...
... It has been shown that regular recreational swimming in a cold water affects human health by initiating immediate and longterm physiological and biochemical responses (6,7). Evidencebased benefits of cold water swimming and cold water immersion include, among others, improvement of antioxidant protection and immune responses, better recovery of fatigued muscles, analgesia involving different endogenous pathways, and some metabolic improvements (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13). These positive reactions represent a complex body adaptation to active cold water immersion and are often associated with cold water habituation and acclimatization. ...
Article
Full-text available
Recreational winter swimming in cold sea water evokes body responses to regularly repeated cold water immersion. However, the understanding of adaptive changes is still limited and data regarding very short-term exposure to severe cold stress are scarce. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of regular active cold water exposure on resting blood elements and erythropoietin in male and female cold water swimmers (CWSs). Thirty four healthy subjects (18 men and 16 women) aged 50.0 ± 12.2 years were swimming in cold sea water during winter season at least twice a week. The average water temperature was 9.5°C in October, 1.0°C in January and 4.4°C at the end of April. Fasting blood samples were taken within the first weeks of October, January and April. Serum erythropoietin (EPO), complete blood count (CBC) including evaluation of: red blood cells (RBC count, hemoglobin, hematocrit and RBC indices), white blood cells (WBC count with WBC differential), platelets (PLT count), serum folate and serum immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM) were determined. Between October and April an increase was observed in the following parameters: RBC (from 4.8 x 1012/L to 5.2 x 1012/L, P < 0.001), hemoglobin (from 8.6 mmol/L to 9.4 mmol/L, P < 0.001), MCH (from 1.8 fmol to 1.9 fmol, P = 0.003), MCHC (from 19.9 mmol/L to 20.6 mmol/L, P < 0.001), EPO (from 6.3 IU/L to 8.1 IU/L, P = 0.001). At the same time decreased concentrations of PLT (from 249.9 x 109/L to 221.6 x 109/L, P = 0.005), folate (from 10.5 ng/mL to 7.4 ng/mL, P < 0.001) and immunoglobulins (IgG: from 11.8 g/L to 10.9 g/L, P < 0.001; IgA: from 2.5 g/L to 2.2 g/L, P < 0.001; IgM: from 0.9 g/L to 0.8 g/L, P < 0.001). Statistically significant changes in EPO and PLT values were noted only in female CWSs. We conclude that regular cold water swimming induces adaptive changes in the resting blood elements and EPO concentrations which are more evident in female organism.
... On the other hand, swimming exercise also improved several aspects of mood such as mood disturbance including tension, depression, anger, vigour, fatigue and confusion in collegiate male adults in the present study. The results in this study are consistent with Huttunen et al. (2004), Villanueva et al. (2013 and Santhiago et al. (2011) that show advantages of swimming exercise from a mental health improvement perspective. In another study by Olutende et al. (2017), he intervened an aerobic exercise program on 40 students for two weeks and found a reduction in total mood disturbance in the training group. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sports can be a non-pharmacological way to improve general human health. This study aimed at evaluating mental health among healthy male adults following swimming intervention as one of the recommended sports in Islam. A total of 28 adults aged 19-33 years old were randomly divided into two groups, swimming group (n=14) and control group (n=14). Two sets of questionnaires were employed, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and the Profile of Mood State (POMS), which examined six domains i.e tension, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion, and vigour pre and post-intervention. The swimming group underwent an exercise program three times per week for eight weeks while the control group maintained their usual daily lifestyle. At baseline, there were significant differences were identified for all parameters measured in DASS and POMS excepts total mood disturbance and vigour domain between the two groups. While at post-intervention, there were significant differences between groups in anxiety and stress in DASS, as well as vigour domain in POMS (p< 0.05). After eight weeks of exercise, swimming group showed a significant reduction in all outcomes measured compared to the control group (p< 0.05). This study shows that eight weeks of swimming can exert positive effects on mental health in healthy male collegiate adults.
... Regular wild swimming can reduce symptoms of negative mental health, e.g., by increasing positive mood states [16]. Winter wild swimming can result in physical benefits, including reduced fatigue and improved energy levels [17]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Spending time in or around bodies of water or ‘blue spaces’ can benefit human health and well-being. A growing body of evidence suggests immersion in blue space, e.g., participating in ‘wild’ swimming, can be particularly beneficial for both physical and mental health. To date, wild swimming and health research has primarily focused on the experience of individuals who swim in the sea. Empirical studies of the health-promoting potential of swimming in freshwater environments, such as lochs and lakes, are lacking, despite the popularity of this practice in many countries and the vastly different physical and hydrological properties of freshwater and coastal environments. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between loch (lake) swimming and health and well-being for adults living in Scotland and determine the importance of perceptions of place and risk in this relationship. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve wild swimmers who regularly swim in lochs in Scotland. Interview data were analysed thematically using Nvivo. The findings suggest loch swimming has a variety of health and well-being benefits that can be categorised over three domains of health: physical, mental and social. Of these domains, mental health benefits e.g., mindfulness promotion, resilience building and increasing one’s ability to listen to their body, were particularly prominent. Our findings also highlight important physical and hydrological characteristics of loch environments, e.g., calm water conditions (relative to the sea), which contribute to positive wild swimming experiences. Finally, the perceived risks of loch swimming and mitigation strategies for these risks are established. Collectively, our findings further support the notion that wild swimming is a unique health-promoting practice. Our findings also highlight differences (in terms of experience and perceived risk) between swimming in freshwater and coastal environments, which can inform public health and water management policy.
... As noted, historical documents and anecdotal evidence extol the virtues of CWI or cold water swimming as a means of improving well-being and health (Digby 1587, cited in Parr, 2011). These health benefits are believed to be a consequence of the physiological responses to CWI and, particularly, alterations in these responses with cold water adaptation (Huttunen et al. 2004, Kukkonen et al. 2006. However, while controlled trials into the therapeutic use of CWI are lacking, there is a theoretical, physiological basis suggesting that this is an area worthy of investigation (Shevchuk 2008;Harper 2012). ...
Article
New findings: What is the topic of this review? This is the first review to look across the broad field of 'cold water immersion' and to determine the threats and benefits associated with it as both a hazard and a treatment. What advances does it highlight? The level of evidence supporting each of the areas reviewed is assessed. Like other environmental constituents, such as pressure, heat and oxygen, cold water can be either good or bad, threat or treatment, depending on circumstance. Given the current increase in the popularly of open cold water swimming, it is timely to review the various human responses to cold water immersion (CWI) and consider the strength of the claims made for the effects of CWI. As a consequence, in this review we look at the history of CWI and examine CWI as a precursor to drowning, cardiac arrest and hypothermia. We also assess its role in prolonged survival underwater, extending exercise time in the heat and treating hyperthermic casualties. More recent uses, such as in the prevention of inflammation and treatment of inflammation-related conditions, are also considered. It is concluded that the evidence base for the different claims made for CWI are varied, and although in most instances there seems to be a credible rationale for the benefits or otherwise of CWI, in some instances the supporting data remain at the level of anecdotal speculation. Clear directions and requirements for future research are indicated by this review.
... Winter swimming, although a relatively extreme sport, is a form of physical activity that is available for everyone, regardless of age or gender. It involves immersing in open water reservoirs during the winter season (in Poland from November to April), which guarantees that the water temperature does not exceed 4°C while the temperature falls below 0°C [32][33][34] . ...
Article
Full-text available
Study aim: The aim of the study was to assess blood morphology, electrolyte level as well as indices of kidney function and the activity of selected liver enzymes determining liver function before and after exiting the water in a winter swimmer (“Walrus”) from the “Kaloryfer” (“Radiator”) Krakow Winter Swimming Club during the whole winter bathing season. Materials and methods: The subject of research was a winter swimmer from the “Radiator” Krakow Winter Swimming Club  a 53-year-old male. Blood was collected from the subject: at the beginning of the winter swimming season, during (five times) and at the end of the season (each time before and after getting out of the water); time maintaining in water: 10 minutes. Results: Analysing the average values of the indices before and after exiting the water, statistically significant increases were noted in AST [U/L] by 6.4% and LDH [U/L] by 2.45%, as well as a decrease in Na+ [mmol/l] by 1.14%, Clˉ [mmol/l] by 1.78% and urea [mmol/l] by 3.64%. Conclusions: Regular baths taken by the winter swimmers in cold water did not affect blood morphology indices and did not cause pathological changes in kidney profile. Furthermore, slight fluctuations regarding the concentration of electrolytes in the blood serum and changes in the hepatic profile additionally “externalised” health problems, which appeared prior to winter swimming.
... 19 Previous research has surveyed and compared cold water 'winter' swimmers and age-matched controls before and after the winter swimming season. 20 They found no differences between the two groups in mood before the winter swimming season, but found significant reductions in fatigue and increased vigour in the swimmers after the winter swimming season. The use of independent groups means that it is not clear if the changes in mood observed occur as a consequence of winter swimming or other differences in the groups, and if the changes in mood occur acutely or take time to manifest. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Anecdotal evidence suggests that outdoor swimming can improve mood. This feasibility study examined the mood and well‐being in participants attending an outdoor swimming course. Methods Profile of Mood States and Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well‐being Scale questionnaires were completed by participants on a 10‐week introductory outdoor swimming course (61 swimmers) and 22 controls who sat on the beach. Questionnaires were completed before and after three sessions: the first session (pool based), their first outdoor swim (session 4) and their final outdoor swim (session 10). Results Swimmers reported acute increases in positive subscales (Esteem and Vigour, P < .001) and reductions in negative subscales (Tension, Anger, Depression, and Confusion and Total Mood Disturbance [TMD], P < .001, d = 1.1–1.7). TMD was also reduced between sessions (P < .001, d = 0.08). Well‐being also increased during the course in swimmers (P < .001, d = 3.7) and controls (P = .019, d = 0.2). Greater reductions in TMD (P < .001, d = 0.8–2.5) and increases in well‐being were observed in swimmers than controls (P = .034, r = .23). Conclusions Novice outdoor swimmers participating in a 10‐week introductory outdoor swimming course had acute and chronic reductions in negative mood, increases in well‐being and acute increases in positive mood. Controls mood scores fluctuated and were similar at the start and end of the course, whereas well‐being scores improved by the final session. Tension scores peaked in both swimmers and controls immediately before the first outdoor swim. Nonetheless the swimmers’ improvement in mood and well‐being scores was significantly greater than that of the controls. The nature of the study does not provide mechanistic understanding; there are likely to be a number of explanations (physiological, psychological and sociological) for the changes in mood and well‐being in swimmers and controls that can be investigated further.
... We start with cold-water immersion. Outdoor, wild, and cold-water swimming have seen a recent growth in popularity and visibility in places around the world, and it is promoted as a healthy practice for our physical, mental, and social wellbeing (Denton & Aranda, 2019;Foley, 2017;Huttunen et al., 2004;Throsby, 2013). A key focus among the three papers on wild swimming is the experience of cold-water immersion. ...
Article
This article introduces the special issue on ‘Understanding Blue Spaces’ which examines relationships between blue spaces, sport, physical activity, and wellbeing. The articles progress conversations across humanities, social sciences and inter-disciplinary areas of research on diverse sporting practices, that span local to trans-national contexts. This collection offers new insights into politics, possibilities, and problems of the role of blue spaces in our wellbeing—individually, socially, and ecologically. In addition to outlining the 10 articles in the SI, which include ocean swimming, surfing, sailing/yachting, and waka ama paddling, we contextualize this work, discussing key thematic areas both across these papers, and in the wider interdisciplinary body of work on blue spaces, wellbeing, and sport. Specifically, we outline the role of physical activities and leisure practices in how we access, understand, experience, and develop relationships to seas and oceans, as well as to self, places and communities of human and non-human others. We also discuss the ways in which particular bodies, individuals, and communities (human and more-than-human) are marginalized or excluded, and the need for understanding concepts such as wellbeing, place, and self beyond dominant European traditions. This SI highlights how localised experiences of blue spaces can be, while emphasising the need to recognize diverse cultural, economic, geographic, sociodemographic, and political factors that contribute to a disconnect with, or exclusion from blue spaces, impacting who can use blue spaces, how they can be used, how they can be researched, and how power is reproduced and contested.
... However, the understanding of human metabolic responses to cold water exposure is still extremely limited and data regarding very short-term and repeated exposure to severe cold stress are scarce. Winter swimming in cold water below 15 C is a natural way of improving wellbeing [8] with proven positive and therapeutic effects on immunity, inflammatory disorders, oxidative stress or psychical comfort [9][10][11]. It is therefore interesting to examine whether regular bathing in cold water leads to beneficial metabolic effects in healthy swimmers. ...
Data
Free access to full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IriegnhvDDYXt3K6Yv4A/full Aim: We examined whether cold water swimming for six consecutive months changes basic leptin and insulin concentrations and insulin sensitivity in healthy non obese women. Material and Methods: Fourteen women aged 45 ± 8.7 years, regularly swimming outdoors during winter months were exposed to cold water at least twice a week. Fasting blood samples were collected in October, January and April. Serum leptin, insulin and glucose concentrations were tested and insulin sensitivity was calculated using updated model HOMA2. Results: Repeated ice baths significantly increased insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin and leptin concentrations (p=0.006, p=0.032, p=0.042, respectively). Leptin concentration positively correlated with BMI and insulin level (r=0.412, r=0.868, respectively). Insulin level inversely correlated with insulin sensitivity and positively with glucose (r=-0.893, r=0.166, respectively). No associations between leptin and insulin sensitivity were found. Conclusion: Regular cold water swimming may stimulate metabolic changes suggesting that leptin and insulin participate in adaptive metabolic mechanisms triggered by repeated cold exposure accompanied by mild exercise in healthy non obese women.
... Shevchuk (2008) suggests that one contributing factor to the prevalence of anxiety and depression may be that the typical modern industrialized lifestyle lacks evolutionarily-common physiological stressors, including frequent acute changes in body temperature. That acute mild hyperthermia improves psychological wellbeing is supported by anecdotal evidence from winter swimming studies (e.g., Huttunen, Kokko, & Ylijukuri, 2004), and complementary experimental work demonstrating plausible physiological mechanisms. For instance, studies have found that cold exposure leads to the release of norepinephrine (Janský et al., 1996;Jedema et al., 2008;Jedema & Grace, 2003;Leppäluoto et al., 2008), which has been linked to the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders (Ressler & Nemeroff, 1999), and plays an important role in the behavioral response to stress (Aston-Jones, Valentino, Van Bockstaele, & Meyerson, 1994;Foote, Bloom, & Aston-Jones, 1983). ...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing interest in surfing as a recreational activity that may facilitate skill development and improved mental health. However, there remains uncertainty regarding the causal processes through which surfing may improve psychological well-being. With the aim to guide future research, we review potential mechanisms that may underpin the psychotherapeutic effects of surfing. A range of plausible factors are identified, including exercise, water immersion, exposure to sunlight, transcendent experiences, reductions in rumination and the satisfaction of basic psychological needs. Further research is needed to clarify the effectiveness of surfing-based therapies and to establish the relative contributions of the causal mechanisms at play.
... Cold is one of the strongest physiological and psychological environmental stressors, resulting in significant physiological defense reactions in the body, i.e., cold shock response. The body also reacts with an adaptive long-term change in metabolic, physiological, biochemical, and hormonal parameters [1][2][3][4][5][6]. It has also been shown that repeated exposure to cold stimulates the immune system [7][8][9], slows down encoding calcium-binding proteins involved in the intestinal calcium absorption. ...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to low temperatures can be considered a stressor, which when applied for a specific time can lead to adaptive reactions. In our study we hypothesized that cold, when applied to the entire body, may be a factor that positively modifies the aging process of bones by improving the mechanisms related to the body’s mineral balance. Taking the above into account, the aim of the study was to determine the concentration of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) in bones, and to examine bone density and concentrations of the key hormones for bone metabolism, namely parathyroid hormone (PTH), somatotropin (GH), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, 17-β estradiol, testosterone (T) in plasma, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the bone of aging rats subjected to physical training in cold water. The animals in the experiment were subjected to a series of swimming sessions for nine weeks. Study group animals (male and female respectively) performed swimming training in cold water at 5 ± 2 °C and in water with thermal comfort temperature (36 ± 2 °C). Control animals were kept in a sedentary condition. Immersion in cold water affects bone mineral metabolism in aging rats by changing the concentration of Ca, Mg, and P in the bone, altering bone mineral density and the concentration of key hormones involved in the regulation of bone mineral metabolism. The effect of cold-water immersion may be gender-dependent. In females, it decreases Ca and Mg content in bones while increasing bone density and 17-β estradiol and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 levels, and with a longer perspective in aging animals may be positive not only for bone health but also other estrogen-dependent tissues. In males, cold water swimming decreased PTH and PGE2 which resulted in a decrease in phosphorus content in bones (with no effect on bone density), an increase in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, and increase in T and GH, and may have positive consequences especially in bones and muscle tissue for the prevention of elderly sarcopenia.
... Wiadomo, że kąpiele w zimnej wodzie wpływają na stan psychiczny człowieka i poprawiają samopoczucie. Morsy wykazują zazwyczaj więcej energii i mają pozytywne podejście do życia [1]. Osoby regularnie korzystające z kąpieli zimowych lepiej tolerują też zimno [2]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Wprowadzenie. Uważa się, że kąpiele w zimnej wodzie i sauna pozytywnie wpływają na organizm człowieka, nadal jednak istnieje niewiele dowodów naukowych potwierdzających to zjawisko. Cel pracy. Celem pracy było określenie wpływu kąpieli zimowej i sauny na wskaźniki stresu oksydacyjnego we krwi doświadczonych morsów. Materiał i metoda. Grupę badaną stanowiło 15 zdrowych mężczyzn (ochotników), którzy spędzili 3 minuty w wodzie o temp. +4 °C, po czym udali się na 30 minut do sauny (temp. 80 °C, wilgotność względna 15%). Krew pobrano czterokrotnie: przed wejściem do zimnej wody (kontrola), 5 i 30 min po kąpieli zimowej (przed sauną) oraz 5 min po saunie. Aktywność enzymów antyoksydacyjnych – katalazy (CAT) i dysmutazy ponadtlenkowej (SOD) oznaczono w erytrocytach, peroksydazy glutationowej (GPx) w erytrocytach i osoczu krwi, a ceruloplazminy (Cp) w surowicy. Stężenie produktów peroksydacji lipidów – substancji reagujących z kwasem tiobarbiturowym (TBARS) i sprzężonych dienów (CD) – oznaczono w erytrocytach i w osoczu. Wyniki. Wykazano wzrost aktywności GPx w osoczu krwi bezpośrednio po kąpieli zimowej oraz wzrost stężenia CD w osoczu po ekspozycji na zmiany temperatury otoczenia. Stężenie TBARS po kąpieli zimowej uległo obniżeniu zarówno w erytrocytach, jak i w osoczu. Po saunie zaobserwowano wzrost stężenia TBARS w osoczu krwi. Wnioski. Wyniki dowodzą stałej gotowości systemu antyoksydacyjnego do obrony przed niekorzystnym działaniem reaktywnych form tlenu podczas ekspozycji na zmiany temperatury otoczenia u doświadczonych morsów, dzięki czemu nie dochodzi do uszkodzeń na poziomie komórkowym. Stosowanie sauny po kąpieli zimowej może być jednak dodatkowym źródłem stresu oksydacyjnego. English Background. Winter swimming and sauna are supposed to beneficially affect the human organism, but there is still a lack of scientific evidence to confirm this phenomena. Aim. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of cold bath and sauna on markers of oxidative stress in the blood of experienced winter swimmers. Materials and method. The study group consisted of 15 healthy men (volunteers), who spent 3 minutes in water at the temp. of +4 °C, followed by a 30 min sauna session – temp. 80 °C, relative humidity 15%. Blood samples were taken 4 times: before the cold bath (control), 5 and 30 min. after the cold bath (before sauna) and 5 min. after sauna. Activity of antioxidant enzymes – catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), was determined in erythrocytes, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in erythrocytes, and blood plasma, and ceruloplasmin (Cp) in serum. The level of lipid peroxidation products – thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and conjugated dienes (CD), were measured in erythrocytes and blood plasma. Results. An increase of GPx activity in plasma was observed directly after the cold bath, and also an increase of CD level was revealed after the changes in ambient temperature. The level of TBARS after winter swimming decreased both in erythrocytes and in blood plasma. After the sauna bath, TBARS concentration increased in plasma. Conclusions. The results provide evidence of constant alacrity of antioxidant system in prevention against harmful action of reactive oxygen species during exposition to changes in ambient temperature in experienced winter swimmers, which results in lack of damage on the cellular level. However, the use of sauna directly after a cold bath may be an additional source of oxidative stress.
... Ice swimming is also being studied in clinical settings. A Finnish authority on the subject, Pirkko Huttunen (2000; see also Huttunen et al. 2004), credits the practice with increasing "brown fat" (brown adipose tissue). It is frequently pointed out that ice swimming should not be practiced by those with cardiovascular symptoms. ...
Article
Full-text available
Combining an ethnographic account of the Finnish national pastime of ice swimming and its remediation through the Wim Hof Method with an analysis of media representations, this article expands linguistic and semiotic anthropological scholarship on the enregisterment of bodily and affective qualia by looking at how practitioners of this therapeutic technology elaborate on their corporeal and semiotic selves and the transformations of those selves after indulging in full-body contact with freezing cold water. Laying particular emphasis on stress as a discursive hub and an intensely circulating qualisign within vernacular and institutionalized health discourses, the article discusses how pedagogical ice swimming exegesis is contributing to the enregisterment of emergent forms of personhood through metasemiotic regimentations of the body that draw from natural and holistic as well as scientific and technical registers.
... Research exploring the personal experience of open-water swimming, as a particular form of blue-space engagement is limited. Ice-water swimming has been found to have a positive impact on mental health for Finnish swimmers (Huttunen et al., 2004). Australian participants of informal swimming groups identified that the marine and social environments promoted healthy aging and were beneficial for well-being (Costello et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose There has been an increase in swimming in natural bodies of water as reported in personal qualitative accounts. However, limited academic research has explored the meaning of this occupation. Engaging with nature, exercising and being part of a community contribute to better mental and physical health. The purpose of this research was to explore the meaning that adults attribute to open-water swimming in natural bodies of water. Design/methodology/approach This study used phenomenological interviews to explore the meaning that five adults attribute to open-water swimming. Findings Open-water swimming contributes to meaning-making in many ways. Participants reported swimming as necessary for maintaining mental and emotional well-being and forming meaningful connections with the social environment, nature and their true selves. Research limitations/implications This study contributes to the understanding of the meaning of open-water swimming for adults in Ireland. Understanding the meaning of this occupation may add to the body of evidence exploring blue-space to promote health. Originality/value Open-water swimming is an occupation growing in popularity. This is the first paper to explore open-water swimming from an occupational perspective. This may provide an alternative perspective for viewing blue-space engagement and understanding the relationship between health, blue-space occupations and our oceans.
... Research exploring the personal experience of open-water swimming, as a particular form of blue-space engagement is limited. Ice-water swimming has been found to have a positive impact on mental health for Finnish swimmers (Huttunen et al., 2004). Australian participants of informal swimming groups identified that the marine and social environments promoted healthy aging and were beneficial for well-being (Costello et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose-There has been an increase in swimming in natural bodies of water as reported in personal qualitative accounts. However, limited academic research has explored the meaning of this occupation. Engaging with nature, exercising and being part of a community contribute to better mental and physical health. The purpose of this research was to explore the meaning that adults attribute to open-water swimming in natural bodies of water. Design/methodology/approach-This study used phenomenological interviews to explore the meaning that five adults attribute to open-water swimming. Findings-Open-water swimming contributes to meaning-making in many ways. Participants reported swimming as necessary for maintaining mental and emotional well-being and forming meaningful connections with the social environment, nature and their true selves. Research limitations/implications-This study contributes to the understanding of the meaning of open-water swimming for adults in Ireland. Understanding the meaning of this occupation may add to the body of evidence exploring blue-space to promote health. Originality/value-Open-water swimming is an occupation growing in popularity. This is the first paper to explore open-water swimming from an occupational perspective. This may provide an alternative perspective for viewing blue-space engagement and understanding the relationship between health, blue-space occupations and our oceans.
... Cold water swimming (CWS) pertains to recreational exposure to low temperatures in aquatic environment. Regular CWS has been proven to be associated with several benefits to both somatic and mental health [4]. Individuals who participate in cold water immersion and swimming are characterized by higher resistance to respiratory tract infections. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Exposure to cold is one of the strongest physiological and psychological environmental stressors and induces an array of significant functional responses. Objective: To analyze the changes in morphological and rheological parameters of blood in regular winter swimmers and individuals exposed to whole-body cryotherapy. Methods: The study covered a period of two months (February and March) and included two groups of healthy males: 1) 10 winter swimmers who immersed in cold waters (3 min at 2°C to 7.2°C) once a week, and 2) 10 healthy volunteers who were exposed to cryotherapy (3 min at -110°C) on a weekly basis. Venous blood for morphological, biochemical (glu¬cose, fibrinogen) and rheological analysis (aggregation index, the amplitude and total extent of aggregation, the half time of the aggregation) was sampled prior to the experiment, as well as after one and two months of regular exposure to cold. Results: After two months of winter swimming, significant reduction of plasma fibrinogen was documented as compared to the baseline level. In contrast to winter swimmers, after two months of cryotherapy plasma concentration of fibrinogen was significantly higher than prior to the experiment. Moreover, significant increase in platelet count and the reduction in glucose concentration were documented after two months as compared the first month of cryotherapy.Conclusions: This study confirmed that exposure to cold can modulate morphological and biochemical parameters of blood. Despite the lack of unfavorable changes in hemorheological indices of both studied groups, an increase in fibrinogen concentration documented in cryotherapy group points to potential risk associated with this form of cold exposure.
... Regular exposure to a cold factor, results in an increased tolerance to cold due to numerous adaptive mechanisms. Swimming in icecold water has also been shown to have a positive effect on the mental side of humans [5] and can even be anti-depressive [6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Regular exposure to a cold factor—cold water swimming or ice swimming and cold air—results in an increased tolerance to cold due to numerous adaptive mechanisms in humans. Due to the lack of scientific reports on the effects of extremely low outdoor temperatures on the functioning of the human circulatory system, the aim of this study was to evaluate complete blood count and biochemical blood indices in multiple Guinness world record holder Valerjan Romanovski, who was exposed to extremely cold environment from −5 °C to −37 °C for 50 days in Rovaniemi (a city in northern Finland). Valerjan Romanovski proved that humans can function in extremely cold temperatures. Blood from the subject was collected before and after the expedition. The subject was found to have abnormalities for the following blood indices: testosterone increases by 60.14%, RBC decreases by 4.01%, HGB decreases by 3.47%, WBC decreases by 21.53%, neutrocytes decrease by 17.31%, PDW increases by 5.31%, AspAT increases by 52.81%, AlAT increase by 68.75%, CK increases by 8.61%, total cholesterol decreases by 5.88%, HDL increases by 28.18%. Percentage changes in other complete blood count and biochemical indices were within standard limits. Long-term exposure of the subject (50 days) to extreme cold stress had no noticeable negative effect on daily functioning.
... The Szekler cold bathing culture examined in this study differs fundamentally from the culture of thermal baths. The cold mineral waters of the Szekler vernacular baths have been proven to have general corroborative, powerful immunostimulating, antidepressant, stress-relieving and other medicinal effects, and there is extensive international medical and balneological literature on the medicinal effects of cold-water baths and mineral waters [72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Szeklerland is a historical-ethnic region located on the eastern border of the Carpathian Basin, in the central region of Romania. In Szeklerland, thanks to its varied topography and a network of small settlements, landscape management is still carried out using traditional methods. Szeklerland is a macro-region rich in natural resources. Among its natural treasures, the mineral water springs with healing properties are of particular importance: around 40 percent of Romania’s mineral water resources are found here. This richness in hydrogeological features is due to the fact that the post-volcanic activities in the young tertiary mountain ranges in the region still produce large quantities of carbon dioxide, which dissolves beneficial minerals from the earth. When dissolved in water, these minerals produce mineral waters that can be used to cure various types of diseases. For centuries, the medicinal properties of the mineral waters of Szeklerland have been regularly used by the local population. In addition to their consumption, small and larger vernacular baths were built in the settlements with medicinal springs, and their regular use led to the development of a traditional, local cold-water bathing culture in the region. However, the vernacular baths were destroyed in the world wars, and their traditional use was abolished by the apparatus of the 20th century communist regime, which had no respect to natural and cultural heritage. After the political change in 1989, the attention of the society turned back to tradition and values. Alongside (or as part of) nature and landscape conservation initiatives, the reinterpretation and restoration of the intangible and practical values of vernacular baths in Szeklerland also began. Over the past decades, the renovation of vernacular baths, which started as a professional–civic initiative, has grown into an independent heritage conservation programme: dozens of vernacular baths have been renovated in Szeklerland over the past twenty years with public participation initiated and led by professionals. In the course of the renovations, baths used by local communities have been rebuilt using nature- and environment-friendly techniques, materials and in a way that they are also related to the physical environment and the mythology of the region. The project has won prestigious awards both in Romania and internationally, and has become a successful and exemplary movement in landscape heritage conservation.
... Furthermore, increased maximal oxygen uptake, achieved at a lower heart rate and, consequently, a shift in anaerobic threshold towards higher exercise loads, can be observed. Protection against excessive heat loss is also evidenced in the vascularization of the areas mostly at risk of too much heat loss, such as around the feet, hands, the ears and head (ZEMAN 2005;¯EBROWSKA & PO-KORA 2005;HUTTUNEN et al. 2004;SIEMS et al. 1994). The research by NIEDOSZYTKO et al. (2009), conducted among Gdansk winter swimmers, showed that people regularly bathing in cold water are less likely to have problems with infections of the upper respiratory tract, characterized by greater exercise capacity, as well as lower risk of cardiovascular system diseases compared to the general population. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of winter swimming on biochemical indicators of the blood. The subjects winter swimmers belonged to the Krakow Walrus Club "Kaloryfer" - "The Heater". The study group consisted of 11 men, aged 30-50 years, 'walrusing' throughout the whole season from November to March. Statistically significant changes throughout the 'walrusing' season were observed for the following biochemical parameters: a decrease in sodium (mmol/l), chloride (mmol/l), alpha-2 globulin(g/l), gamma globulin (g/l), IgG (g/l), and an increase in albumin (g/l), indicator A/G, IgA (g/l), Herpes simplex virus IgM. Seasonal effort of winter swimmers has a positive influence on biochemical blood parameters.
Article
Aim: We examined whether cold water swimming for seven consecutive months changes basal leptin and insulin concentrations and insulin sensitivity in healthy non-obese women. Materials and methods: Fourteen recreational female swimmers aged 45 ± 8.7 years, regularly swimming outdoors during winter months were exposed to cold water at least twice a week. Fasting blood samples were collected in October, January and April. Serum leptin, insulin and glucose concentrations were tested and insulin sensitivity was calculated using updated model HOMA2. Results: Repeated cold water baths significantly increased insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin and leptin concentrations (p = 0.006, p = 0.032, p = 0.042, respectively). Leptin concentration positively correlated with body-mass index (BMI) and insulin level (r = 0.412, r = 0.868, respectively). Insulin level inversely correlated with insulin sensitivity and positively with glucose (r = −0.893, r = 0.166, respectively). No associations between leptin and insulin sensitivity were found. Conclusion: Regular cold water swimming may stimulate metabolic changes suggesting that leptin and insulin participate in adaptive metabolic mechanisms triggered by repeated cold exposure accompanied by mild exercise in healthy non-obese women.
Article
The aim of this study was to analyse the influence of the repeated sprint ability (RSA) training load increase on the mood states in young tennis players. Thirty tennis players (15.78±1.58 years) took part in this training program (7 weeks). The subjects were divided into 3 groups: G1, specific tennis training and an increase of 8.3% of RSA training volume; G2 specific tennis training and an increase of 16.6% of RSA training volume; G3, only specific tennis training. The specific tennis training volume was controlled and equated for this period, and all the subjects also filled out a weekly questionnaire to establish the profile of mood states (POMS, Balaguer, Fuentes, Meliá, García-Mérita & Pons, 1995). The results showed changes in G1 and G2. Whereas tension and fatigue scores increased at the end of the training program in G1 (p < .05), scores of tension, depression, hostility and fatigue were higher at the beginning than at the end of the training program in G2 (p < .05). There were no significant changes in G3 for any variable. The different evolution of subjects’ mood states based on RSA training volume performed shows the need for monitoring internal load to fit this training.
Article
Objectives: To evaluate the safety and effects of a new home treatment method, a whole-body cold mist treatment, on patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis. Method: Whole-body cold mist shower therapy was given to 121 voluntary patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis in this crossover study during 1-week rehabilitation periods. Pain and sleep quality were assessed by a 10-cm visual analogue scale (VAS). Mental status was assessed by the Depression Scale (DEPS). Body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, use of occasional pain and sleep medication, and possible side-effects were recorded. Results: The differences in pain (VAS) between treatment and control periods were significant (2.0 vs. 2.4, p = 0.006, paired t-test) in the last measurement, when assessing the pain of the past week as a whole. A trend could be seen of an increasing difference towards the end of the week. The treatment effect was statistically significant [likelihood ratio test (LRT), p < 0.0001] after controlling for period and sequence effects. There was an indication of better sleep quality (VAS) during the treatment period (2.3 vs. 2.7, p = 0.058 paired t-test) when assessing the past week as a whole. The mean DEPS scores showed no difference between the treatment periods (5.5 vs. 5.0, p = 0.1874 paired t-test, at start, and 4.5 vs. 4.1 p = 0.29 paired t-test, at the end). No significant side-effects were recorded. Conclusions: The new whole-body cold treatment method may offer a safe option for self-treatment of pain at home but further study is needed to determine the clinical significance of the effect after longer use.
Article
We determined whether cold water swimming for six consecutive months results in adaptive changes in body composition and insulin sensitivity. Thirty healthy subjects aged 50.2 ± 9.4 years were exposed to cold water at least twice a week. Body composition was determined and serum glucose and insulin served to calculate beta-cell function, insulin sensitivity and resistance using HOMA2. Compared to control subjects, swimmers were overweight, had greater % body fat and beta cell function. Women had lower values of BMI, fat free mass, muscle mass, visceral adipose tissue level and greater % body fat than men. Increased insulin sensitivity, decreased insulin secretion and resistance from beginning to middle of swim season was observed in females and in lean subjects. Findings suggest that men and women differ in regard to body composition and response to repeated cold exposure. Cold water swimming may beneficially modulate insulin sensitivity in cold acclimated lean swimmers.
Article
Objective: Winter swimming is a new sport discipline. Very little is known, however, about the sex differences, origin, participation and performance of the world's best winter swimmers. Therefore, the study aimed to investigate sex differences in performance and age. Furthermore, it should be determined which country has the fastest swimmers, the highest numbers of participants and the most successful age group athletes in winter swimming. Subjects and methods: A total of 6,477 results from the 25 m events of the IWSA (International Winter Swimming Association) World Cups from 2016-2020 was collected from the official website of IWSA. Data were analyzed using a generalized linear model (GLM) with a gamma probability distribution and identity link function. The 25 m events were carried out in head-up breaststroke style, freestyle and butterfly. The nationalities were grouped into six groups, the five nationalities with the highest number of participants in the 25 m competitions and one group with the other nationalities. The mean time of 25 m races by sex and country of the total sample was compared. For the top 10 comparisons, the best ten athletes from the six groups were selected. The mean time of each top 10 groups was compared by sex and nationality. Results: Men were faster than women for all categories. Swimmers in age group 15-29 years were the fastest, where females were the fastest in age group 15-19 years and males in age group 20-29 years. Women from both Russia and Estonia and men from both Russia and China were the fastest. Both Russian and Chinese males were the fastest in all water categories in the top 10 section in the 25 m events. Conclusions: In summary, males were faster than females in the IWSA World Cups between 2016 and 2020. The age group of 15-29 years old athletes was the most successful while females had their age of peak performance earlier than males. Russian and Estonian males and Russian females were the overall fastest in the 25 m events in all water categories. Future studies should investigate the optimal anthropometric characteristics of male and female winter swimming sprint athletes and whether there are distinct areas in Russia, Estonia and China, where many international winter swimming athletes originate.
Article
Sea and open water swimming is rapidly growing in popularity and many participants are extolling the benefits to their mental and physical health. Despite the wealth of anecdotal reports, little empirical research has been undertaken exploring the impact of this activity. To gain access and understanding of the embodied, emplaced and temporal experience of swimming I developed a novel mobile method. I carried out ‘swim-along’ interviews, and follow up land-based interviews, with six regular sea swimmers. Using a lifeworld phenomenological analysis based on the ideas of Merleau-Ponty, I identified three significant dimensions that reflected the experience for the swimmers interviewed. They found sea swimming transformative, causing changes in mind, body and identity; connecting, enabling a sense of belonging to nature, place and others; and finally re-orientating, through the disruption to the sense of time, space and body swimmers can find alternative and expanded perspectives about themselves and their world. All these effects positively impact on wellbeing and indicate that sea swimming offers benefits that go far beyond just a way of improving fitness.
Chapter
In the last two decades, whole-body vibration training (WBVT), involving exercising on a vibrating platform, emerged as an alternative exercise modality for the treatment of obesity. In this chapter, the possible clinical use of WBVT in obese individuals is addressed, involving its effect on body composition, muscle strength, and cardiovascular function.
Article
Introduction: For many years, winter baths have attracted an increasing number of participants. The results of various research indicate the increase of immunity and enhancement of anti-oxidative response in winter swimmers. The relationship between winter bathing and blood pressure variation is not thoroughly explored. Aim: The aim of the study was the evaluation of blood pressure variation in middle-aged women attending regularly in winter swimming. Material and Methods: The study was conducted in a group of twenty five healthy women in age range 17-63 years (mean 39.9 years), who regularly participated in lake swims between October and April. The first examination was taken in December 2018, the second one in April 2019. Duration of each immersion in the water was 4 minutes, water temperature was below 4°C. Blood pressure was measured before the immersion and immediately after getting out of the water. Body temperature was assessed before and after the swim. Control group consisted of 25 women of similar age who never practiced winter swimming. Results: In intervention group systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased essentially after each immersion in cold water. Decrease of systolic and diastolic blood pressure was observed on spring, but these changes were not significant. Decrease of systolic blood pressure was noted in control group in April Conclusions: In intervention group no significant influence of winter swimming on blood pressure was discovered. Further studies, considering greater number of morphological and physiological variables are needed to confirm healthy impact of winter swimming on cardio-vascular system.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to discuss the health and well-being benefits of outdoor, cold water swimming. Design/methodology/approach This paper describes the personal experience of one cold water swimmer. It also explores some of the research literature suggesting there is evidence of the benefits to the health and well-being of people of all ages. Findings The paper explores literature suggesting there is evidence of the benefits of “blue therapy” to the health and well-being of people of all ages. Originality This paper describes the personal experience of one cold water swimmer. However, a growing body of published literature suggests there is value in “blue therapy” informing future social prescribing programmes.
Article
Winter swimming is a complex procedure that simultaneously includes the effects of cold, water itself, physical activity, and the climate factor. All these elements are used in thermal medicine in a milder form. They also have a lot in common with Kneipp hardening therapy. In winter swimming, belonging to extreme sports, extremely strong stimuli act simultaneously. Winter swimming positively affects the cardiorespiratory system, complete blood count, musculoskeletal system, endocrine system, immune system, the skin, metabolic processes, and the mental sphere. Empirically, many beneficial effects of winter swimming have been discovered, but there is very little scientific research showing this procedure’s mechanisms of action. Hence, they are often based on hypotheses. The mechanisms of action of winter swimming on complete blood count and the organism’s oxidative processes are best explained. However, the explanation of the mechanisms of action is mostly based on research conducted in cryotherapy. To obtain beneficial health effects, it is necessary to prepare properly for winter swimming and comply with the entire process’s rules, from preparation, through the treatment itself, to behavior after the procedure. In recent years, handbooks and guides have appeared in Poland that contain practical tips on the winter swimming procedure.
Article
Full-text available
Background An increasing volume of anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that mood may be enhanced following swimming in cold water. The exact mechanisms responsible are largely unknown, but may include the effects of exercise from swimming and the effects of cold. This study examined the effect on mood following immersion in cold water, where swimming was not the primary activity. Methods The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire was completed by 64 undergraduate students. The following week, 42 participants completed up to 20-min immersion (18ʹ36ʺ ± 1ʹ48ʺ) in cold sea water (13.6°C). Twenty-two participants acted as controls. The POMS was completed immediately following the cold-water immersion by both groups. Results The cold-water immersion group showed a significant decrease, with a large effect size, of 15 points from 51 to 36, compared to 2 points in the control group, 42 to 40. Positive sub-scales increased significantly in the cold-water immersion group (Vigour by 1.1, and Esteem-Related Affect by 2.2 points) and negative sub-scales showed significant reductions (Tension by 2.5, Anger 1.25, Depression 2.1, Fatigue 2.2, and Confusion 2.8 points). The control showed no significant change except for depression, which was significantly higher after the period by 1.6 points. Conclusion Cold-water immersion is a well-tolerated therapy that is capable of significantly improving mood in young, fit, and healthy individuals. A key aim of this study was to control for the effects of swimming as a mechanism responsible for the improvement in mood which has been shown in previous studies. Thus, the change in mood evidenced in this study was not due to physical activity per se. Consequently, the hypothesis that cold in and of itself can improve mood is supported.
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The aims of this review were to 1) summarise the breadth and types of research regarding the impact of aquatic exercise on mental health completed to date, 2) provide a clear indication of the intervention type, volume, measurement tools used, and populations best served in relation to this activity and its effectiveness and 3) to identify domains within the literature that can be developed so recommendations can be made for future investigations. Method A scoping review was performed under the PRISMA guidelines. A systematic search of Pubmed, SPORTDiscus, PsycInfo and Google Scholar databases was conducted. Studies observing the effect of aquatic exercises on mental health and related parameters were considered for inclusion. The data from the selected studies were then extracted and analysed methodically. Primary Conditions Measured Depression, anxiety, mood, self-esteem, and psychological well-being were the primary mental states for which findings could be clearly extracted. Results Of the 1635 articles that resulted from the search, 23 articles met all inclusion criteria. Of these, 12 were randomised controlled trials. Cumulatively, the findings of this review trend towards aquatic exercise being effective in generating positive changes in mental health. Conclusion Aquatic exercise, specifically winter swimming, leisure swimming, competitive swimming and aquatic aerobics, can be a promising conservative therapy for mental health management. However, it is recommended that further research be conducted to solidify these findings and establish the long-term effects of this intervention on mental health.
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to present a practical overview of the most common equipment for patient handling and rehabilitation technologies for a clinical setting, focusing the attention on devices suited for obese individuals. In details, the equipment, devices, aids, and resources designed as alternative to manual handling are described. We have reviewed the equipment related to lifting, transferring, repositioning, moving, and mobilizing of obese patients ensuring that patients are cared for safely preventing consequences of immobility, while maintaining a safe work environment for employees.
Article
Full-text available
In a cross-over study, the short-term efficacy of whole-body cold therapy and hot mud packs in patients with generalized tendomyopathy (fibromyalgia) was compared. As a pain assessment, visual analog scale and so-called pain score were measured; dolorimetry of the 24 tender points and eight control points was performed as well. Using these methods, we found that there is a significant improvement of all parameters examined during a 2-h period of measurements after cold application, and a marked improvement was also detectable 24 h after this therapy. In contrast, only pain score values showed a slight decrease immediately after hot mud-pack therapy, and no significant differences were found in visual analog scale and pressure tenderness as measured dolorimetrically. Central inhibition of nociceptors as a result of an activation of A-delta system as well as a blockade of gamma-motoneurons are discussed to be a mechanism of action of whole-body cold therapy, resulting in a decrease in muscle tonus. Long-term studies are needed to determine, if there is any enduring effect of whole-body cold therapy on pain in the patients with generalized tendomyopathy.
Article
Unlabelled: Cryotherapy as a whole-body cold therapy (with cold air cooled by addition of nitrogen blown on the patients in an open cabin) for treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases already started in Bad Säckingen in 1986. In 1996, a new cold chamber (this time a closed chamber without any addition of nitrogen) based on compressor technology was introduced. The aim of our study was to test whether significant pain relief could be achieved by means of this cold therapy. Furthermore, we were interested in the practicability and acceptance of this new technique. Wellbeing during the treatment application and pain level were assessed using verbal and numerical rating scales. The sample consisted of 120 consecutive patients (75% women, age: 30-67 yrs, M = 52.6 yrs). These patients were suffering from primary fibromyalgia (40.7%), rheumatoid arthritis (17.3%), chronic low back pain (16.4%), ankylosing spondylitis (10.9%), osteoarthritis (9.1%), secondary fibromyalgia (3.6%) and other autoimmune diseases (1.8%) (mean duration of symptoms: 4 yrs). The patients were treated 2.5 minutes on average in the main chamber (mean temperature: -105 degrees C). The patients' statements concerning their pain level were analyzed by means of analyses of variance with repeated measures and paired-sample t-tests. Results: The pain level after application of the cold therapy decreases significantly. The pain reduction lasts about 90 minutes. The initial pain level decreases during the whole time of treatment, no significant improvement, though, can be shown from the middle to the end of the four-weeks treatment. According to the results of our study, there is evidence that the whole-body cold therapy generates important short-term effects and somewhat weaker effects over the treatment period as a whole. Short-term pain reduction facilitates intensive application of physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. The treatment procedure is practicable, and all in all well tolerated. From the patients' point of view, whole-body cold therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation programme.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome of unknown etiology characterized by chronic wide spread pain, increased tenderness to palpation and additional symptoms such as disturbed sleep, stiffness, fatigue and psychological distress. While medication mainly focus on pain reduction, physical therapy is aimed at disease consequences such as pain, fatigue, deconditioning, muscle weakness and sleep disturbances and other disease consequences. We systematically reviewed current treatment options in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Based on evidence from randomized controlled trials cardiovascular fitness training importantly improves cardiovascular fitness, both subjective and objective measures of pain as well as subjective energy and work capacity and physical and social activities. Based on anecdotal evidence or small observational studies physiotherapy may reduce overloading of the muscle system, improve postural fatigue and positioning, and condition weak muscles. Modalities and whole body cryotherapy may reduce localized as well as generalized pain in short term. Trigger point injection may reduce pain originating from concomitant trigger points in selected FM patient. Massage may reduce muscle tension and may be prescribed as a adjunct with other therapeutic interventions. Acupuncture may reduce pain and increase pain threshold. Biofeedback may positively influence subjective and objective disease measures. TENS may reduce localized musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia. While there seems to be no single best treatment option, physical therapy seem to reduce disease consequences. Accordingly a multidisciplinary approach combining these therapies in a well balanced program may be the most promising strategy and is currently recommended in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Article
This study deals with the adaptation of the sympathoadrenal responses to an acute cold water immersion in ordinary winter swimmers. Hormonal responses were determined at the beginning of the winter swimming period in the autumn and after regular swimming for one and three months. Water temperature in the river was 10 degrees C at the beginning and 4 degrees C after one and three months. The mean duration of the test immersion was 36 s. Plasma catecholamine levels determined before the test immersion decreased with the winter swimming period for one month (NA, p < 0.001, A, p < 0.01). The test immersion significantly increased noradrenaline levels (p < 0.001). Plasma adrenaline and serum cortisol levels were increased or decreased by the immersion. After 1 month's swimming the test immersion to 4 degrees C increased noradrenaline to a similar level than the immersion to 10 degrees C at the beginning. Regularly practiced winter swimming for three months led to diminished catecholamine levels measured immediately after the test immersion (p < 0.01). The results suggest that cold adaptation induced by winter swimming attenuates the catecholamine responses to cold water. Adrenaline responses are also affected by its level prior to the immersion.
Article
Random samples of 25 voluntary Finnish winter swimmers (7 males, 18 females) and 11 controls (3 males, 8 females were followed prospectively during the winter season from October 1999 to May 2000 to (determine whether winter swimming is beneficial for mental well-being, as many of its practitioners claim. The Crown-Crisp Experimental Index (CCEI) was used for measuring free-floating anxiety, phobic anxiety, obsessionality, depression, somatic anxiety and hysteria, and the 20-item version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) for measuring alexithymia. Self-reported somatic and mental health and the reasons for and the frequency of winter-swimming were asked, too. As resealed by open questions, the winter swimmers reported positive effects of winter swimming. Several of the swimmers also told that they had started winter swimming to improve their physical and mental health. Their experience was that the swimming had relieved physical symptoms and made their mood more positive. However, we found no major differences between winter swimmers and controls in any CCEI or TAS variables. The structured questionnaires do not necessarily, however, reach subjective feelings and experiences.
Article
Some researchers have suggested that a depressed mood state is associated with alterations in responses to pain. The authors examined cognitive, behavioral, and affective responses of 75 randomly assigned participants to depressed, neutral, or elated mood state induction conditions and subjected them to the cold-pressor task. Because they were unsuccessful in inducing elated moods, the authors used only the data for the depressed and neutral states as they measured pain threshold, tolerance, and unpleasantness during the test. After the task, the authors measured sensory, affective, and evaluative responses to the cold-pressor pain, as well as the participants' catastrophizing ideation about the painful procedure. The depressed mood state group, compared with the neutral group, had significantly lower cold-pressor tolerance times and higher pain catastrophizing scores. These results support previous findings that a depressed mood state may be associated with alterations in some pain responses.
Article
The study was a follow-up one, in which blood pressure and hormonal changes were investigated during one winter swimming season in winter swimmers (WSs) and non-swimmer controls on three occasions (autumn, winter and spring). Humoral results were compared to psychological traits recorded at the time of the three blood samplings. Mean systolic blood pressure of the WSs fell from 134 +/- 12 mmHg to 128 +/- 12 mmHg (p < 0.05) during the winter, and a slight but non-significant drop was also seen in the controls. Mean plasma noradrenaline concentrations diminished significantly from autumn to spring, and more so in the WS-group, but no statistically significant difference was observed between the groups. Adrenaline levels also showed a decreasing trend, and the change was significant when calculated by using the combined means of both groups. Plasma homovanillic acid and beta-endorphin values were on the same level in all seasonal samples in both groups. Plasma serotonin levels decreased in both groups by about 50 per cent by spring, but 5-HIAA did not change significantly. HVA showed correlation with blood pressure and anxiety in the autumn (r=0.367). In the winter measurement endorphin and hysteria had a negative correlation (r=0.370). In the spring 5-HIAA and obsessionality had a positive correlation (r=0.351). In summary, blood pressure and plasma catecholamine levels decreased during winter swimming practice over one winter, but these changes were also observed in the control persons. Plasma serotonin was lower in the spring in both groups. The changes in the humoral status speak for adaptation to the research situation, or reflect seasonal variation from autumn to spring. No clear effect of winter swimming as such was detected.
Article
Background: Chronic heart failure is characterized by increased peripheral vascular resistance and reduced peripheral perfusion due to adrenergic and renin angiotensin activation and impaired endothelial function. Recent studies have shown that nonpharmacological peripheral vasodilation with thermal therapy by means of warm-water baths and sauna has beneficial effects in chronic heart failure. European hydrotherapy (according to Kneipp) additionally uses short cold water stimuli, which lead to prolonged vasodilation and adaptive responses. Studies on the efficacy of hydrotherapy in chronic heart failure are lacking. Methods: We studied 15 patients (5 men, 10 women, mean (+/- SD) age 64.3 +/- 1.8 years) with mild chronic heart failure (NYHA functional class II to III, ejection fraction 30%-40%). Patients were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of intensive home-based hydrotherapy or 6 weeks restriction in a crossover intervention trial. Quality of life and heart-failure--related symptoms were assessed by means of a validated questionnaire (PLC). Graded bicycle exercise test with incremental workloads (0, 50, 75, 100 watts) was performed at the end of each treatment period. The hydrotherapeutic program consisted of a structured combination of daily home-based external warm- and cold-water applications. Results: Baseline characteristics were balanced between the groups. With hydrotherapy, a significant (P < or =.05) improvement in 3 of 6 dimensions of quality of life (mood, physical capacity, enjoyment) and a significant reduction in heart-failure-related symptoms was found. Heart rates at rest and at 50-Watt workload were significantly reduced by hydrotherapy; blood pressure decreased nonsignificantly at rest and during exercise. The hydrotherapeutic treatment was well accepted and no relevant adverse effects were observed. Conclusions: A home-based hydrotherapeutic thermal treatment program improves quality of life, heart-failure-related symptoms and heart rate response to exercise in patients with mild chronic heart failure. The results of this investigation suggest a beneficial adaptive response to repeated brief cold stimuli in addition to enhanced peripheral perfusion due to thermal hydrotherapy in patients with chronic heart failure.
The effect of laboratory-induced depressed mood state on responses to pain Pirkko Huttunen Department of Forensic Medicine FIN-90014 University of Oulu Finland Email: pirkko
  • Sg Willoughby
  • Bj Hailey
  • S Mulkana
  • J Rowe
Willoughby SG, Hailey BJ, Mulkana S, Rowe J. The effect of laboratory-induced depressed mood state on responses to pain. Behav Med 2002;28:23-31 Pirkko Huttunen Department of Forensic Medicine FIN-90014 University of Oulu Finland Email: pirkko.huttunen@oulu.fi
Edits manual for the profile of mood states. Educational and industrial testing services, California 1981
  • Dm Mcnair
  • M Lorr
  • Lf Droppelman
McNair DM, Lorr M, Droppelman LF. Edits manual for the profile of mood states. Educational and industrial testing services, California 1981. 29 p.
Neurotoksisten haittojen seulonta. Institute of Occupational Health
  • H Hänninen
Hänninen H. Neurotoksisten haittojen seulonta. Institute of Occupational Health. Helsinki 1989