If you haven’t heard about cryotherapy, Wim Hof, or ice cold baths, let me get you up to speed. Cold swimming has a long tradition in northern countries, Eastern Europe, and Russia, where people used to bathe in hot saunas (or banya), and then jump into cold water or snow during the winter. It is regarded as a natural adaptation to cold weather.
Some of the benefits of cold water swimming include enhancing the immune system (there is rising evidence that winter swimmers are more resistant to certain illnesses and infections, experiencing them less frequently and more mildly). Cold water swimming also appears to have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipid profile or blood pressure, and has been shown to have a positive effect on mental well-being.
If you don’t like the cold, but want to reap the benefits, I recommend easing into the ritual with cold showers, or even just ending your shower with a cold rinse.