Learn to Love Frigid Waters
Unless you’re living in a tropical paradise, you’ll probably find the ocean water around you to be a tad too cool throughout most of the year. For diehard water lovers, skipping the beach for three seasons just won’t do. Here are a few ways you can still get wet without freezing your tush off once summer ends!
Wear a Wetsuit
Folks all along the western seaboard understand that wetsuits aren’t always optional. If you want to extend your swimming season, they’re a great way to help you withstand the frigid temps of the Atlantic Ocean in fall, too. Slip into one of these puppies and you’ll be good to go right up until Christmas in most places; maybe longer if you’re feeling frisky.
Heat leaves the body through the head, so you need to trap it in if you’re going to be in the cooler waters. Wearing a neoprene cap works wonders for staving off the cold, but adding a second one can help you fight the temps even further. It might feel a little bulky, but you’ll be happier with a little discomfort than a whole lot of frostbite.
Practice Before You Dip In
Swimmers have quite a few handy tricks up their sleeves when it comes to competing in colder waters. One of them is to let their body acclimate to cold water gradually before a race. You can do the same thing by building up your body’s tolerance in your own bathtub. Turn on the cold water, throw in a few ice cubes if you think it’ll help, and allow yourself to relax in the tub for a bit. Don’t push too hard, but a few minutes a day before your trip will help ward off the massive shock on your body when you reach the waves.
You may have noticed that when you enter cold water for the first time your body tenses up and you seem to have trouble breathing a bit. That’s because the shock causes your lungs to contract. To prevent this wade into the water waist-deep and dip your face below the surface, then start blowing bubbles. It works; trust us.
Plug ‘em Up
We mean your ears. That’s right, stuffing a couple of earplugs in before your dip can help your body adjust to the cold. That’s because they’ll help keep your core temperature up. Stuff them in even if you’re wearing a cap for added protection.
Don’t Dive In
Contrary to popular opinion, simply diving in full force is not the best way to get your body to handle the water. Actually, it’s one of the worst. Doing so shocks your system drastically and can cause harm. Move in slowly and let yourself adjust over time.
One thing you don’t want to do once your body is in the water is stay motionless for too long. Keep your blood pumping by paddling those arms and legs to help warm yourself up. Surfing is a great way to make sure you stay in motion or maybe tossing a frisbee in the water. It’s true that staying in motion does allow heat to become trapped around your body in the water, but the effect doesn’t last very long.
Pour Warm Water into Your Suit
This one sounds a little odd, but some surfers swear by it. Before heading into the water pour a little bit of warm water into your wetsuit. This will provide another protective layer between you and the cold and will allow your body more time to adjust as the water mixes together.
Do you have any tips we missed? Let us know!