Blog > Ice swimming in Umeå: Explained

Ice swimming in Umeå: Explained


Mad, bonkers, stupid, crazy, loony. 

Alive, energised, euphoric, calm, at peace..

Ice swimming at Root

The first set of words above are some of the things that people say about hopping in an isvak. The second are some of the things people say when they’ve tried it…

So, what’s all the fuss about with ice swimming..?

Humans have been exposing themselves to the cold since the beginnings of man. Whether part of a ritual, forced or otherwise, stripping off and hopping in is a friend with benefits.

First up…feeling alive. When we expose ourselves to cold water, all our lights turn on. In becoming like a Christmas tree, the body goes into ‘fight or flight mode’, ready to escape whatever is happening. But if you sit there for 30+ seconds and breath slowly, you will over-ride this autonomic response and start to feel calm. You have successfully taken control of your nervous system, you are now a super human.

Next up, becoming a mental badass. You have already learnt cold water mind control, now it’s time to up your brain power. When the body senses the cold, it starts sending blood to the important parts, the brain included. Over time, this increased blood flow to the brain converts the pain associated with the initial shock into a pleasurable sensation, and it doesn’t stop there. Slowly, you will start to see this spread to the rest of your life. Now you have monk like mental control.

Whilst I’m fond of exaggerating, much of what I’ve written above is what I’ve experienced swimming over the past few years and there are many more positive impacts a regular dip can have on you general wellbeing. 

So, here’s to being mad and bonkers, and jumping in the isvak everyday 🙂

Click here to read about our ice hole and when it’s open.

Hejdå 2021, hejsan 2022 UmeåIce swimming in Umeå: ExplainedTavelsjö: en perfekt utflykt från Umeå