Swimming and, more broadly, spending time in cold water appear to offer a range of physical and mental benefits for women experiencing menopause and menstruation, significantly easing symptoms such as mood swings, pain, and hot flashes. This insight comes from a study conducted by the University College of London, published in the Post Reproductive Health journal. Researchers analyzed responses from 1,114 women aged 16 to 80, with an average age of 49, who regularly engaged in cold-water swimming. Among the participants, 785 were in menopause.

Half of this group reported a significant reduction in anxiety due to cold-water swimming, while 35% noted improvement in managing mood swings. Additionally, 31% mentioned that it helped alleviate bad moods, and 30% stated it mitigated hot flashes. Over 63% of participants swam specifically to address menopausal symptoms. “Cold-water swimming profoundly impacted my menopausal symptoms,” shared a 54-year-old study participant.

“Exercising in nature, whether alone or with a group of women, has a healing effect,” added the participant. Joyce Harper, from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health at UCL and the study’s lead author, commented, “Though anecdotal, the study’s evidence suggests that this activity could be utilized by women to alleviate physical symptoms like hot flashes, pain, and discomfort.” Harper also noted, “Cold water has been shown to reduce stress in outdoor swimmers, while ice baths aid muscle repair in athletes.”

One participant, aged 57, declared, “Cold water is phenomenal; it saved my life. In the water, I can do anything. All symptoms, both physical and mental, disappear, and I feel my best.” The study revealed that the longer women swam and the colder the water, the more pronounced the benefits. Of the 1,114 participants, 711 also experienced menstrual symptoms, with 38% reporting better control of mood swings. The study concluded that menopausal or menstruating women regularly engaging in cold-water swimming experienced overall positive effects. Key benefits identified included the calming and mood-enhancing properties of the water, the formation of companionship and groups among participants, an improved experience of menstruation, reduced impact of hot flashes, and a general enhancement of health.

One thought on “Cold Water Swimming Alleviates Menopause”

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