How to partake in the extreme Russian tradition with any detriment to your health.
The ritual of diving into ice-cold water was passed onto Russia from the traditions of the ancient Scythians who hardened their children in this manner.
You don’t have to be Russian to try out this tadition. The main thing is to be open to new things and to have a positive attitude while observing a few simply safety rules:
1. If you have any problems with your heart, lungs, nervous system or have diabetes, don’t diving into the water, just splash yourself.
2. Start getting ready to take a dive ahead of time. Start taking cold showers 2 days before the dive, gradually increasing the duration of the procedure during this time.
3. Don’t forget to take some flip flops, a towel, a bathing suit, and a change of clothes from home.
4. Be sure to dive with experienced divers and under the supervision of lifeguards and doctors when you’re going for the first time.
5. Before diving, be sure to eat some fatty foods, like pork lard. But don’t overdo it.
6. When heading to the ice hole, be sure to dress warm. Wool socks, mittens, a scarf and hat should do the trick.
7. Before diving, exercise a little bit: about 10-15 squats to warm up your muscles.
8. Gradually dip into the water. Go up to your chest, hold your breath, and dip into the water three times, then quickly exit the water. There’s no use in swimming when you dive in cold water for the first time.
9. Newbies shouldn’t spend more than 10 seconds in the water. When you get out of the water, dry yourself off with a told and get dressed immediately. Don’t hang out in the snow: that’s for experienced divers!
10. Don’t drink strong alcoholic drinks in the cold. It won’t help you keep warm. You’re better off drinking hot tea with honey.