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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.”
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) February 24, 2014
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.
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.
Here is another set of tips