Cold water immersion has been riding a popularity wave over the last few years, due in part to the likes of Wim Hof and other influencers who rave about the benefits.
For Jai Simpar, the call of the cold came as a way to ease his anxieties and what started out as a solo dip in the cool waters of Port Philip Bay has now become The Cold Water Club, attracting dozens of like-minded souls.
Meeting at Olivers Hill Boat Ramp Jetty in Frankston, Melbourne, the club has been meeting every Sunday morning since May this year (2022) to immerse in the cold water.
Unlike traditional ocean swimming groups, they aren’t swimming-focused, rather, members walk into the 8-12 degree water and immerse themselves for up to 10 minutes.
“The Cold Water Club was spurred to action by the end of a long-term relationship,” said Mr Simpar.
“I have been using cold water to ease my anxiety and sometimes depression since lockdown.
“The breakup made me realise that if the cold water helps me then surely there are others who need the benefits of it too, and that’s where The Cold Water Club community started.
“I set out to allow The Cold Water Club to empower everyone with confidence through kindness, vulnerability and cold water and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Studies have shown that exposure to water between 7-11 degrees can have a range of effects on the body and brain including increased heart rate, immunity levels, elevated mood, motivation and resilience.
“There are lots of health benefits to cold water exposure, however, we have gotten much more out of cold water exposure than just the health benefits,” said Mr Simpar.
“Through cold water exposure, we have gotten the birth of a beautiful community of people who all show up to make friends, smile, laugh, support each other, grow and empower everyone with confidence.
“For me personally, I am left buzzing and invigorated for four hours after and that is a great feeling. Especially when it’s something that doesn’t bring you any regret or negative afterwards.”
The Cold Water Club community has changed Mr Simpar’s life for the better and it continues to grow with over 60 members already.
“It has truly changed my life by giving me ultimate clarity, gratitude and perspective,” said Mr Simpar.
“I have this supportive community around me that makes me feel safe to be my vulnerable self which has given me the superpower of confidence.
“Being part of this community has given me not only something to look forward to every day, but so many friends to share this incredible experience with.”
With winter coming to an end, The Cold Water Club is showing no signs of stopping any time soon, continuing throughout the year.
“I can’t see The Cold Water Club stopping anytime soon because we are all having too much fun with it,” said Mr Simpar.
“We also have a few group events coming up that don’t involve the cold water such as hikes, breathwork and yoga.
“We are really excited for summer and what it brings for The Cold Water Club.”
To join the Cold Water Club and try out cold water exposure check out their Instagram page for times and details.