Cold water swimming has been identified as a potential solution for alleviating the physical and mental symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, anxiety, and mood swings, according to a recent study. This study, conducted by academics from University College London, surveyed 1,114 women who regularly engaged in cold water swimming, with the majority of participants being menopausal women aged between 45 and 59. The survey revealed that those who swam for longer intervals or swam more regularly reported greater benefits in managing menopause symptoms.
Survey Findings and Benefits
The findings indicated that a significant percentage of women reported improvements in various menopause symptoms as a result of cold water swimming. Nearly half of the participants believed that cold water swimming had helped alleviate their anxiety, while over a third reported a reduction in mood swings. Additionally, a considerable number of women reported a decrease in night sweats and hot flushes as a result of engaging in cold water swimming activities.
Furthermore, the survey highlighted that those who swam more regularly or for longer periods of time were more likely to experience a reduction in menopause symptoms. This correlation emphasizes the potential benefits of incorporating cold water swimming into a regular exercise routine as a natural relief for menopause-related discomfort.
Personal Testimonials and Senior Author Insights
The study also featured personal testimonials from women who expressed profound positive experiences with cold water swimming. One respondent, a 57-year-old woman, described cold water swimming as “phenomenal,” stating that it had significantly improved both her physical and mental symptoms, allowing her to feel like her best self.
Additionally, senior author professor Joyce Harper from the UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health affirmed the findings of the study, highlighting the potential of cold water swimming in improving mood, reducing stress, and aiding in the alleviation of physical symptoms associated with menopause. Professor Harper emphasized the need for further research into the optimal frequency, duration, temperature, and exposure necessary to achieve a reduction in menopause symptoms through cold water swimming.
Considerations and Caution
While acknowledging the potential benefits of cold water swimming for menopausal women, Harper also cautioned individuals about the potential risks associated with this activity. Participants were warned about the risks of hypothermia, cold water shock, cardiac rhythm disturbances, or drowning, emphasizing the importance of ensuring safety precautions and adequate supervision when engaging in cold water swimming. Additionally, considerations regarding water quality standards, particularly in relation to sewage pollution in rivers and seas, were highlighted as important factors to bear in mind due to potential health risks associated with water contamination.
The findings of the study suggest that cold water swimming may offer a natural and holistic approach to managing menopause symptoms, providing women with an alternative solution to alleviate the physical and mental challenges associated with this stage of life. However, it is imperative for individuals to approach cold water swimming with caution, ensuring safety measures are in place to mitigate potential risks. As further research develops in this area, the potential of cold water swimming as a form of relief for menopause symptoms may encourage more women to consider incorporating this activity into their lifestyle.