Cold water and menopause.
It may not be a great surprise to you that roughly 70% of our Tribe are women, with the majority being between the ages of 40 and 75. Many go swimming throughout the year to keep on top of the benefits they experience.
Why would this be? When I speak to many swimmers, dippers and body boarders, there are many reasons, such as:
1) loving being part of a supportive and non-judgmental community
2) having grown up families (so have more time to spend on pursuing their own hobbies)
3) and another resounding one, is due to the fact that it seems to help with peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms.
What is your experience?
Cold water and mental health
Many female cold water swimmers say that hurling themselves into cold open water throughout the year helps with menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, brain fog and depression.
Many thrive in the open water swimming community. Women can open up about the menopause amongst other women who are similar to them, bringing humour into the mix and sharing the symptoms being experienced. Not feeling like you are the odd one out with how you are feeling helps to forge lasting friendships in this vibrant community. The lack of judgement is liberating. Men also seem to find that they benefit from the ‘menopausal chats’ so that they can support the women in their lives. Now, that has got to be a good thing. It isn’t just about the swimming is it?
There is a significant amount of anecdotal evidence that suggests that cold water swimming / dipping works for some symptoms. There are plenty of theories surrounding the effects of cold water swimming but no definitive studies. Given the huge uptake in recent years, perhaps that would be a great study for a PHD.
Dr Wendy Sweet of My Menopause Transformation offers the view that, “The real benefits from swimming when we are in menopause and post-menopause are not only to do with our muscles and joints, but all to do with our blood pressure and lymphatic system….Swimming decreases the vascular stiffness that arrives as we lose oestrogen in menopause.”
I found an interesting article in the Open Water Swimming Society about this very topic. It is worth a read.
- Estelle (51) who is now into her fifth year of cold water swimming, states that daily cold water exposure helps to manage her menopausal symptoms.
- Sarah-Jane (50) who was featured in the BBC One programme We Are England with me, is a firm believer that cold water exposure helps not only menopausal symptoms but her mental health too.
- Mandy (56) states that she loves being a part of the Chatter Challenge community as the Tribe give her a sense of belonging which boosts her mental health.
Chatter Tribe Fun
Winter Swim Challenge 2022/23 – We are at the point in the year where you decide whether you are going to continue swimming through winter and if you are, whether to do a winter swim challenge to help you to stay motivated.
Winter swim challenge 2022/23
The 2022/23 winter season tickets are now up for grabs. In other words it’s time to secure your place. Do this as soon as you can.
This year there are four options to choose from which are:
- THE ORIGINAL – swimming or dipping in any open water in your swimsuit or shorts between 01/11/22 until 31/03/23.
- THE MIXED BAG – as per THE ORIGINAL but you can also do cold showers, ice baths or similar.
- ALL WETSUITS – swimming or dipping in any open water in a wetsuit between 01/11/22 and 31/03/23.
- THE ULTIMATE – 365 days of swimming or dipping in any open water in your swimsuit or shorts – this one is a hardcore challenge and is at the request of Chatter Tribe members who wish to push themselves further.
Furthermore, you will be supported throughout whichever option you choose via the Facebook page with daily dipdates for you to comment or add your photos. Follow us on Instagram too.
If you haven’t already, join the Chatter Tribe today.
We look forward to you joining us this winter!
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