Kate Middleton reveals the surprising way she likes to stay active
Fitness is an important part of the princess' life.
‘Personally, I love swimming,’ the Princess said. ‘Cold swimming, the colder [the water] the better.’
She said she loves it so much that her husband thinks she’s crazy: ‘I seek out the cold water,’ she said.
And while many of us would probably agree that purposefully diving into ice cold water and enjoying it is a little bonkers, Kate isn’t alone.
In fact, other celebs like Chris Hemsworth, Harry Styles, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lizzo also enjoy dipping their bodies in freezing cold temperatures, and for good reason.
What is cold water immersion?
Cold water immersion involves plunging your whole body into cold water (under 15 degrees) in a bid to reap the physical and mental benefits as well as boosting recovery from sports and exercise.
Methods of cold water immersion range from taking cold showers at home to swimming in cold water outdoors or jumping into a bathtub filled with water and ice.
There’s actually scientific evidence that shows that cold water immersion, popularised by self-proclaimed ‘Ice Man’ Wim Hoff, may protect against cardiovascular, obesity and other metabolic diseases. It can also help with muscle recovery.
It’s also been touted as a mental health remedy, with many cold water lovers stating they feel ‘high’ after a plunge.
This, Dr Heather Massey, a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth which is leading the research on cold swimming, previously told us, is because immersing yourself in cold water releases happy hormones, like dopamine and cortisol.
‘That’s what they call the post-swim high,’ she said. ‘But there are other aspects of cold water swimming that improve wellbeing.
‘Just exercising outside, being in a group of likeminded people in a challenging environment and achieving a goal.’
However, cold water swimming is not without its risks. In fact, it can be deadly.
America’s National Centre for Cold Water Safety said that the ‘cold shock’ experienced when entering the water can kill someone in less than a minute. This is because it can cause you to lose control of your breathing, leading you to drown.
Hypothermia and cardiac arrest are also very real risks, which is why the British Heart Foundation advises those with heart conditions to check with medical professionals before trying cold water immersion.
So, if you want to take inspo from Princess Kate and take the plunge, make sure you weigh up the pros and cons, don’t go alone, and check with your GP beforehand.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected].