Extremes At Both Ends

Extremes At Both Ends

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It seems that the human body can manage cold far better than it can handle heat,” observes Ram Barkai.

Since we starting covering open water swimming in 1982, initially for Swimming World Magazine, we have covered swimmers who have tested themselves in either extreme warm or extreme cold.

It appears that when the water and core body temperatures decrease, there is a major range of variance for survival, but when the water and core body temperatures increase, the tolerance levels are much more narrow. “When the core body temperature goes over 42°C (107°F), you are cooked, but ice, on the other hand, preserves us. There are plenty stories of people surviving core body temperature of 17°C (62°F) for few hours and then back to normal,” observes Barkai.

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