I'm looking into the science of cold water swimming from the perspective of a triathlete.

Conventional advice states that after swimming in the cold our peripheral body temperature is low and we should try to prevent this cold blood from flowing into our core.

There are plenty of do's and don'ts on many websites: eg: Do: Take a hot drink, use a blanket. Don't: Take a hot shower as it can cause peripheral vessels to dilate

However, I can't seem to find any information regarding exercising after getting mild hypothermia. eg. is it good to go jogging?

On one hand, jogging would generate body heat to warm us up. But on the other hand, muscle contraction in our legs may encourage more blood flow towards our core. What is the general advice on this issue?

  • How could you prevent that blood from moving to the core? It's like a minute or something for a round-trip. Nov 11 '21 at 22:04
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    @DaveNewton hypothermia triggers vasoconstriction, to reduce blood flow in the periphery, but physical activity causes vasodilation, which increases peripheral blood flow. So you can control, to an extent, the amount of blood that flows through the limbs and returns to the trunk. Nov 11 '21 at 23:58
  • @DavidScarlett ... Severe hypothermia is a different scenario than actively swimming in a cold-water triathlon. I've never seen any research indicating that a cold-water swim followed by the remaining triathlon events is particularly dangerous, but if there are good sources available, I'd like to see them. Nov 12 '21 at 0:53
  • @DaveNewton Agreed, and I suspect there will only be research on medically-significant hypothermia, which would involve temperature changes far greater than any mild hypothermia experienced after swimming. Nov 12 '21 at 3:23
  • @DavidScarlett Now I'm curious, though, mostly around performance since I think the chances of actual harm are negligible at the worst. Nov 12 '21 at 3:40

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