I did the Polar Bear Plunge yesterday, and while it was awesome, I’m pretty sure my brain is still a little scrambled from the experience, so I can’t really do any heavy intellectual lifting today.  Instead, I give you an excerpt from a book by Bernarr MacFadden, founder of the Polar Bear Club, fitness guru, and author of many books including Muscular Power & Beauty, The Miracle of Milk and my personal favorite, Hair Culture.  (As far as I can tell, there were some good things to come up of my dip in the ocean yesterday, but clarity of mind was NOT one of them.)  The below excerpt is, fittingly, about the benefits of a dip in cold water from Vitality Supreme, which is available to download for free from the Bernarr MacFadden fan site.

“Many who enjoy a cold bath are inclined to stay in the water too long. In this way one may deprive himself of

some of the benefits that might be derived therefrom. It is safer to limit the cold bath to a short period. The chief

value lies in the reaction. If this is secured then all is well. The first effect of the cold water is to contract the tissues

at the surface of the body, including the blood vessels, thus forcing the blood away from the skin. In the reaction

the blood is brought back to the surface in large quantities, producing the glow that is noticed after a successful

cold bath. After a short plunge or quick shower this reaction should be secured. By staying in the water too long

one may overtax his vitality and become chilled. When taking a plunge simply allow the water to come in contact

with all parts of the body; then immediately get out.”

–– Bernarr MacFadden, Vitality Supreme

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