5 Polar Plunge Tips for Jimmy Fallon: Arctic Swimmer Lewis Pugh Shares His Advice

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“It sounds like a nightmare,” Fallon said during The Tonight Show on February 26. “It’s freezing in Chicago right now.”

What should Fallon expect and how can he prepare for the plunge? National Geographic turned to Arctic swimmer Lewis Pugh for guidance.

Take a Cold Shower

Don’t be shocked by the cold water; prepare for it. According to Pugh, Fallon should start a regimen of cold showers to acclimatize. He recommends two cold showers today for two minutes, and one on Saturday for five minutes.

Get in Quickly

Don’t stand around too long on the lake’s edge, Pugh cautions. Fallon should jump in as quickly as he can. He’ll want to start his plunge with his highest core body temperature; Chicago’s cold weather could bring down his temperature before he even hits the water.

Don’t Panic

When Fallon takes the dive into cold water he’ll feel like he can’t breath, says Pugh. That’s a natural reaction called cold-shock response.

Get Out Within 3 Minutes

Pugh spent seven summers living in the Arctic before making his swim across the North Pole. Though he braved the cold water for nearly 19 minutes, he recommends a much shorter swim for inexperienced swimmers.

Put on Some Clothes

Once he’s taken the plunge, Fallon should get dressed quickly. Wet clothing loses its ability to insulate from the cold so core body temperature could plummet, raising the risk of hypothermia.

Read the full text here on National Geographic

Here is another set of tips

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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