About those polar bear plunges

Written by Lizanne Esplin

February 18, 2019

…and what’s the best way to take the plunge? By taking a slow walk into the water…
That is what those in the know say. You are suppose to acclimate the body to the cold.
“It could be just that exercise is good for you, maybe just dunking yourself in water is good for you, or the social aspect of doing the swim in one big group is good for you.”
…and where did this idea originate from?

Polar bear plunges aren’t all that new: Russians and Scandinavians have been dipping in frigid waters for health reasons for centuries.

In many Canadian communities, dipping a toe into icy water is a New Year’s Day tradition. Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Swim Club has been active since 1920 and usually has 1,000 to 2,000 registered participants every New Year’s Day, and  2,128 registered for the Polar Bear Swim in English Bay in 2000.

But the Nieuwjaarsduik sees at least 30 000 humans diving into the icy cold sea water at Scheveningen, The Netherlands’ main beach resort town, every year since 1960!

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