Rising temperatures in the summer make jumping into cold water truly tempting! Just be careful, lots of folks underestimate the shock one experiences from jumping into cold water. Cold water shock can be hard on the heart and on the arteries.
What happens to our bodies when we jump into cold water?
Jumping into cold water can be dangerous if the difference between the temperature of the water and the temperature of our bodies is too high. The bigger the temperature difference, the more likely it is that our bodies may react negatively. Initially, when you dive into cold water, your pulse and heartbeat slow down, and you may lose your breath. Next, as your body begins to adjust to the water, your pulse rate will increase, confusing your heart.
Additionally, your skin loses heat rapidly in water, causing your body to involuntarily gasp for air. This reaction can cause stress and panic even in experienced swimmers. If we breathe in too much water into our lungs, we can drown.
How can you avoid temperature shock?
Anyone who loves boating, water sports or swimming should be prepared for a quick change in water temperature. If you are in a situation where you could fall into the water, make sure to wear a life vest. Life vests support your head, keeping it above water and preventing you from sinking.
If you know you're going to get into cold water, here are a few tips:
Take a cold shower before swimming
Wet your hands, arms and upper body before diving under the water
Take your time getting into the water
These measures help your body adjust to the water temperature before you get in.