Ice hole swimming works wonders on personal health and startups

According to a study conducted at the university of Oulu, Ice hole swimming has numerous benefits to personal health including stress management, boosting self-confidence and relieving pain. 

According to research conducted at the university of Oulu by Pirkko Huttunen and Hannu Rintamäki among others, Ice hole swimming has an effect to personal health including stress management, boosting self-confidence and relieving pain. 

In these studies, the health condition of participants was evaluated before and after swimming regularly in an ice hole. A wide variety of health benefits were found to be related to ice hole swimming.

Ice hole swimming alters blood circulation momentarily so that circulation focuses on the central parts of the body and blood pressure rises for a while. The amount of noradrenaline in blood rises, which is linked to the sense of victory during and after the dip. When ice hole swimming becomes regular, the increase in noradrenaline levels is not as significant anymore but the amount of cold and pain the body can withstand starts to rise.

Regular ice swimming raised the levels of dopamine and endorphin, which are connected to reduced depression and stress. Many participants reported how they felt like they drowned their stress under water. Ice swimmers also reported an increase in self-esteem after they were able to overcome themselves and dip in the freezing water. These health benefits were a result of swimming in an ice hole regularly several times a week.

Ice hole swimming gives also enormous boost to the health startups. In Polar Bear Pitching startups pitch their ideas in an ice hole, carved in the frozen Baltic Sea in front of Oulu market square. The extreme approach of this event has been proven to draw huge international media attention.

The sense of immortality is claimed to be much stronger when pitching from an ice hole compared to regular ice hole swimming. One of the biggest benefits of pitching from an ice hole is that after you survive Polar Bear Pitching, getting on any stage will be a piece of cake compared to what you have done already. The health benefits of Polar Bear Pitching can be seen after only one treatment and long exposure period is not necessarily needed. 

Next Polar Bear Pitching will be held on the 12thand 13thof March. The finals at the market square are free and open for audience and a ticket is needed for the day conference and evening parties. Read more about the event here:

Take good care of your health and the health of your company!



Pirkko Huttunen, Leena Kokko & Virpi Ylijukuri (2004) Winter swimming improves general well-being, International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 63:2, 140-144, DOI: 10.3402/ijch.v63i2.17700

Mäkinen TM, Mäntysaari M, Pääkkönen T, Jokelainen J, Palinkas LA, Hassi J, Leppäluoto J, Tahvanainen K, Rintamäki H: Autonomic nervous function during whole-body cold exposure before and after cold acclimation. Aviat Space Environ Med 2008; 79:875–82.

Mäkinen Tiina M. Palinkas Lawrence A. Reeves Dennis L. Pääkkönen Tiina Rintamäki Hannu, Leppäluoto  Juhani, Hassia Juhani: Effect of repeated exposures to cold on cognitive performance in humans


Last updated: 12.12.2019