Peripheral Vasoconstriction in fingers demonstrated using Infrared

What Is Peripheral Vasoconstriction?

This physiological response has been mentioned so many times that I decided it needed its own specific post to plug into the Cold Water Swimming articles section. What is peripheral vasoconstriction? Following immersion in cold water, blood flow is reduced in human limbs and skin. Why does peripheral vasoconstriction happen? Peripheral vasoconstriction occurs to allow the…

Cold Water Acclimatization

This post was a companion to HABITUATION, both of which I wrote in early 2010. Since I revisited and largely rewrote that as Cold Water Habituation, my plan was to do the same in this post also. Acclimatization (acclimatisation for those of us who forego the use of the z)  is a different factor to habituation. While…

Cold Water Habituation

HABITUATION was one of my very first posts, and the first post I wrote about cold and cold water swimming, over four years ago, little realising it would become my favourite subject. Although it is linked in the Cold Water Articles Index, I decided to air it out and rewrite it. (And change those capitals).…

Cold Water Swimming Articles Index

This post is an index with a very brief explanation of each of the specifically cold swimming related articles I’ve written, so one can scan the entire list for what is most relevant for their question or area of specific interest. I was a bit surprised to see just how many I’ve written. Articles sometimes…

Cold spots

I measured the Guillamenes at 12.5C yesterday, a full 3.5C warmer than a week previously, sun in the sky, and no wind. However swimming outward past Newtown Cove the temp dropped, and halfway to the Metalman I’d say it was only about 9.5C. There was no particular sensation of gradually warmer water as I swam…

lanolin and other types of grease and lubrication

Salt-water chafing

When we were in Dover two years ago for our two-way relay swim, one day we were getting ready to go swimming in the harbour. Three guys came over to us and we got talking, as is common in Dover. They had come from New York for a one-way relay. They wanted to know why…

The cumulative effects of cold water?

I’m right in the middle of a painful learning experience, and that is the cumulative effects of daily swimming “into” cold or very cold. I’m tired this week as a consequence partly of last Friday’s nine and a half hour swim. But last Sunday I also started to sea swim daily. I’ve swum through the…

“What temperature of water is too cold to swim in?”

Edit: this post, the site’s most popular, has an updated version. This post is courtesy of searches on the site as a few variations of this question have cropped up. I guess one could divide thoughts on lowest possible water temperature in which to swim into three camps. 1 degree WARMER than it is now What…

Merino Wool

Winds shifted North again over the weekend and look likely to stay that way for a while. :-( By today water temperature had dropped down to 7 Celsius (from 8.8 C.), i.e. mid-January and mid-March temperatures. 1 hour and 15 mins on Sunday dropped to 1 hour today. Hands “gone” by 45 minutes and the…

The Big Drop

Well, we’re into the “lowest water temperature of the year” period. Yesterday I measured 5 Deg. Celsius exactly, 0.1 C lower than the coldest day I swam last year, and 2 degree drop in 2 weeks, 1 week ahead of last years drop. Maybe a month or 6 weeks of this to endure. Air temp…

Long Duration Exposure Effects of Cold Water

This is quite simple but if you really understand it, it explains a lot of other things. We’ve briefly covered the various stages of hypothermia. For regular cold water swimming, the important thing here is that as temperature decreases blood-flow changes. Blood circulation from the extremities to the core decreases, in order to protect the…