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Hardening in ice water – winter swimming

With proper organization and strict observance of hygienic rules, systematic bathing in icy water, as studies have shown, has a beneficial effect on humans: the efficiency increases, the incidence of influenza, sore throat and other diseases decreases. However, it should be noted that in order to successfully confront, say, drafts and catarrhal diseases, it is not at all necessary to engage in winter swimming. If you have reached a high degree of hardening, then, after consulting with your doctor, you can proceed to stronger procedures. It is possible to recommend winter swimming only to practically healthy people. First of all, sailors, fishermen, divers, water builders, hunters – in short, all those whose activities do not exclude the likelihood of cooling in icy water.

It is appropriate to remind about the other. Doctors and scientists who studied the effects of winter swimming on the body, noted not only its positive aspects, but also negative ones. So, the doctor I. S. Marchenko, who himself was fond of winter bathing in the 1930s, argued that people who are nervous, suffering from insomnia, shortness of breath, and heartbeat, after regular bathing feel much more cheerful, more efficient. They have an appetite, good sleep, and, most interestingly, they more easily endure need, adversity, overwork. On the question of who can swim in the winter, I. S. Marchenko answered:
“In my opinion, people who are not suffering from heart disease, who do not have severe organic injuries of light and heavy nervous diseases can swim. In general, people can swim by medically healthy people. People who work a lot are overworked, overworked, not sufficiently fed because bathing itself, greatly increasing metabolism, can lead to various kinds of disorders. As for people who seek healing from diseases in winter bathing, this can sometimes be a delusion. ”

Winter swimming is the highest form of cold hardening. It causes the maximum stress of all the physiological mechanisms of thermoregulation and has a strong effect on the human body, causing significant changes in the activity of almost all systems and organs. Immediately after the swims in the polynya, there was noted, in particular, an increase in the number of formed elements in the blood, especially leukocytes and lymphocytes. And this phenomenon, occurring by type of stress, persists for 4 hours. Naturally, with atherosclerosis, hypertension, rheumatism, active forms of pulmonary tuberculosis, other acute and chronic diseases, such deviations are not only undesirable, but also unacceptable.

If during winter swimming strictly to adhere to the correct dosing of cold load, as well as hygienic rules, first of all, the principles of gradualness and consistency, then all functional changes in the body will remain within the normal range. Since the magnitude of the changes depends to some extent on cooling, and the latter on the time spent in ice water, the duration of bathing should be considered the main issue in the method of this form of hardening.

How to approach such a degree of hardening, so that without damage to health you can plunge into a wormwood? The first rule is to maintain proper nutrition and intake of all necessary trace elements. The second rule – do not forget about gradualness!

After prolonged quenching with cold water, those who have excellent health can be advised to use a form of quenching such as rubbing with snow. At first, this procedure is performed indoors. Only the upper half of the body is pounded. Movement is done quickly, energetically. The whole procedure lasts no more than 2 minutes. In the future, as temperedness develops and with well-being, you can venture out into the open air. At low air temperature, a sharp gusting wind rubbing snow on the air is impractical.

How to proceed to the snow bathing? Start with a wet wipe with water, the temperature of which is not higher than 28 ° C. Gradually over 2 weeks. reduce the temperature of the water (to tap). And now bring a basin with snow into the bathtub, into the room, bare it up to the waist and, having made 4-5 having captured the snow, pound the chest, neck, hands, face with it. In a week you can, stripping down to your underpants, rubbing the whole body with snow. If all is well, safely move the procedure to the street. After 5-10 of such rubbing, you can proceed to the snow bathing.

They are especially good after the sauna. Exposure to dry steam raises the body temperature by 1-2 ° С, skin – by 3-4 ° С, and the body literally asks for cooling. The main condition is to carry out the procedure quickly, for the first time the duration of the baths should not exceed 10-15 s. The place of rubbing with snow should be located in 10-20 m from the locker room.

Now, from rubbing with snow to the winter swims, only a step remains. But do not rush to do it.

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