wearing a good hat is vital to your health.
Take your head and the heat seriously-it may prevent your body from getting cold.
For many cold is what prevents us from staying in the water and cold after our swim-
If keeping your head warm can slow down the cold you feel?
"From a surface body area -the head itself is small and only contributes about 7% to the surface area of the body when immersed" according to Giesbecht and Pretorius 2005.
Having cold hands and cold feet is that the same as having a cold head?
Is there a reason as a child we were warned to keep our heads warm and not go out in the cold with wet hair?
The contribution to the overall heat loss from the head, mathematically, as a result of being immersed in cold water is not that great on the scale of a body surface area immersed -it's only 7 % of the body surface. Not a huge heat loss.
All our lives it was always "Don't go out with a wet head" "Get dressed from the head down after a swim" "Make sure the back of your neck is covered" It was driven into us. I come from a fishing family and as a child I was allowed out without shoes but never without a hat.
Why do we need to know this?
The science shows us that heat loss or core cooling is the opposite side of the same coin-
It is the effect and impact to the body of having a cold head and if that could impact our ability to swim and our health?
|Importance to have a hat that comes down over neck|
Some studies say that a cold wet head can contribute up to a 40% increase on the cooling of the core temperature- we get cold quicker.
That is working the research on Giesbrecht and his fellow scientists. This does not include “whole head submersion”
Research on submersion of the back of the head/neck in ice water as low as 0-5 degree, showed that the cold wet back of the head may contribute as much as 250% to the cooling of the body-again on research by Giesbrecht and his team. That is the statement.
Whether it applies to you or not it has a part to play-that is a huge variable.
Once we got into the water the pain in the head area was intense-face in the water was cruel searing pain-my first time in water under 6 degrees.
|Edward in Tyumen air - 33 deg-hair and eyes |
frozen but he is so comfortable with
Many swimmers wore both neoprene diving hoods, neoprene hats with straps and also wool hats instead of standard swimming hats of silicon. It intrigued me and many times I just thought they were causal swimmers. But then they were clocking up distances to 1000m swimming in just a wooly hat-breast stroke, keeping their heads above the water so they were not casual-they were serious.
|Strong Silicon Hat is vital and ensure ears are covered-|
relay in Tyumen 2016 WWSC
The area at the back of the head/brain is responsible for the heat regulation of the body this is called the hypothamlus and this regulates the body temperatures. This a vital area.
We have more experience of the dangers of being overheated in a swim/dive and it's risks, it would appear much less attention to the information on factors to cooling and the minutia that we need to manage as swimmers, now in an frequent and extreme environment.
|Alexander Brylin after 1 hr at 0 deg - 33 Air temp 2,100m|
|2 hats-I would have worn 3 we were so intimidated|
by the cold
First time swimming at 0 deg-Air temps MINUS 33 deg
|Dr Irina and Dr Nataliya on the Bering Strait Relay|
It is very difficult to swim distance in a neoprene hood because of the buoyancy and the restrictions on the neck( in front crawl) so why were so many Russians choosing neoprene to swim in?
Why is the head so important when it only covers 7% of the body surface area?
|The Medical test at Krasnoyarsk|
Majority of Russian swimmers swim daily over a period of 4-6 months in air temperatures of possible - 30 degree to - 40 degree.
It is crucial that the head and the neck and most important the lymphatic system are protected from extreme temperatures of -10 deg upwards.
A silicon hat does not offer heat, coverage and protection against these extreme temperatures on a daily basis.
It's not just the impact of the ice water-its the air temperature and the wind chill and the freezing water in the ears.
It's the speed of freezing of splashes of water on the skin and hair as we swim-that can impact the cold of the body.
I had not thought about that, at extreme temepratures-if water splashes on your neck, and your hair is wet at 0 degree water within seconds ice would form at those temps.. a frozen head must be a lethal combination to the health-to what degree there is no research-there are no answers I know.
One day, one swim -is not every day-we can all survive one day one swim with one hat-of course and of course people swim without any hats-for short course distance. Info is important ...
There is so much unknown about freezing the blood at the head but what is known is the value of keeping it warm-lets work to keep it warm.
|Many are acclimatised to these |
temps for short distance
- My suggestion is 2 hats is better than one-if you are swimming in a very cold environment and exit the water-make sure you get dressed from the head down-wind chill.
- Make sure that you wear a swim hat that caters for your hair-if you have long hair-make sure you pony tail the hair so it creates an air pocket and not strings out where your hair can get wet..
- Make sure you have a seal on the hat and make sure your ears are covered and sealed.
An Ice Cream headache is a searing pain when we swim without a hat to begin with.
"The use of caps and earplugs are important for the prevention of early (freezing and infection) and late (meningitis, cancer and autoimmune inflammation) complications that can occur in a few months and years!!!" Dr Irina.
There is a value... Health Health and Health...
I think is it real to accept that swimming in cold water takes an enormous toll on the physical of the body-and the cold depletes the system to a point of incapacitation. The cold will take us.. so if we can in any way assist the body..
- Look for a good quality silicon hat for competitions that require one hat.
- Be mindful that it covers your ears and lower on neck.
- Does not slip and mostly is the heaviest silicon you can get- (some is very slight and will rise off your head)
- Do not use a new hat for the first time at a long distance event.
|Short Distance without a hat.|
If in very cold swims-please take the time to dry your hair and do not walk about with wet hair in freezing temps.
Wet hair on your neck can cause a chill.
it's not about the heat loss.. it's not about preventing the loss of heat, it is all about preventing the cold from getting in..The risks of a cold head and a cold blood supply are real-from there we should start from.