Are you looking for a way to boost your mental and physical health, build camaraderie, and increase overall well-being? Look no further than the Sunday Swim movement.
Source: TEDx Talks/Youtube
Founded by Brendan Cooke, Brett Scher, Nick Pfeiffer, and health coach Brendan Morgan, Sunday Swim is a Long Island, New York-based group that takes a polar plunge into the Atlantic Ocean every Sunday at Robert Moses State Park. The group promotes the benefits of cold water therapy on mental and physical health, and encourages anyone across the country to join in on the fun.
But why take a dip in freezing water on a regular basis? According to Cooke, the idea for Sunday Swim came about when his life “spiraled out of control” in 2021 as he struggled with his mental health. After discovering the Wim Hof Method, which is based on cold exposure, Cooke took his first polar plunge in October 2021 and found that it changed his life.
“I fell in love with living once again,” Cooke said. “I was excited to wake up in the morning. Fear became my friend, my guide. I gained confidence and control. I found my purpose.”
The Wim Hof Method, created by Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof, focuses on three pillars: commitment, breathing, and cold therapy. According to the Wim Hof Method website, proper exposure to the cold can lead to a cascade of health benefits, including weight loss, improved immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep, and the production of endorphins.
But don’t just take Cooke’s word for it – medical professionals have also noted the benefits of cold water therapy. Dr. Tracy Zaslow of the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute states that cold water therapy has been proven to increase energy levels, boost dopamine levels, decrease depression and anxiety, reduce inflammation and joint pain, increase blood flow, and improve mental clarity and immunity.
So, what are you waiting for? Join the Sunday Swim movement and see the life-changing effects of cold water therapy for yourself. As Cooke says, “All it takes is a leap of faith.” And who knows, you might just find yourself looking forward to waking up on a Sunday morning to take a dip in the icy Atlantic.
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