Ice swimming may have important well being advantages, together with decreasing physique fats and the chance of illnesses equivalent to diabetes, in line with a overview.
Some 104 research have been analyzed by researchers, who discovered that many reported nice well being advantages from chilly water swimming, together with good fat that assist burn energy.
This might assist stop weight problems and heart problems, however the researchers stated the general well being advantages have been unclear.
The overview recognized what seems to be a optimistic affiliation between chilly water swimming and brown adipose tissue (BAT).
BAT is an effective physique fats that’s activated by the chilly, burning energy to keep up physique temperature.
It’s completely different from “unhealthy” white fats which shops power.
Repeated ice swimming may considerably improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin secretions, the examine discovered.
Researchers from the Arctic College of Norway UiT and the College Hospital of Northern Norway accomplished the examine, which is revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Circumpolar Well being.
A lot of the out there analysis concerned small numbers of individuals, usually of the identical intercourse, and with completely different water temperatures and salinity ranges, the researchers stated.
And it is unclear whether or not or not winter swimming is more healthy, they stated.
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Lead creator James Mercer, from UiT, stated: “From this examine, it’s clear that there’s extra scientific assist that voluntary publicity to chilly water can have a optimistic impact on well being.
“Lots of the research confirmed important results of chilly water immersion on varied bodily and biochemical parameters.
“However it’s troublesome to evaluate the query of whether or not these are useful or not for well being.
“Based mostly on the outcomes of this overview, most of the claimed well being advantages of standard chilly publicity might not be causal.
“As a substitute, they might be defined by different components together with an lively way of life, skilled stress administration, social interplay, in addition to a optimistic angle.”
“With out additional definitive research, the subject will stay a matter of debate.”
The researchers warned that swimming in freezing water additionally carries dangers, equivalent to hypothermia, and coronary heart and lung points associated to temperature shock.