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Habitual cold-water swimming and upper respiratory tract infection

Volume: 59 - Issue: 5

First page: 485 - Last page: 487

N. Collier - M. Lomax - M. Harper - M. Tipton - H. Massey

It has long been claimed that non-wetsuit cold water swimming (CWS) benefits health (1), and anecdotally cold-water swimmers claimed to suffer fewer and milder infections, though this was not directly measured. A boost to immunity is biologically plausible: stress hormones are released during cold-water immersion (2), and short-term stress may ready the immune system for injury or infection (3). However, very few studies have investigated immune system markers and/or actual illness in habitual cold-water swimmers.

Rhinology 59-5: 485-487, 2021

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