Every year, hundreds of thrill-seekers around the world take part in New Year’s Day polar plunges. In fact, Coney Island has an entire club devoted to the sport. But the human body isn’t exactly suited for freezing water. The moment you jump in, “your body starts to force blood from the limbs to the heart and brain,” says Joseph Herrera, DO, System Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System, to ensure those vital organs receive enough blood to survive. The increased workload on the heart poses an obvious danger to people with underlying heart conditions. For those individuals who simply can’t live without the plunge, Dr. Herrera says, there's one surefire way to minimize the danger: Practice: http://mshs.co/dINF307xmE1

How to survive a polar bear plunge (and why you shouldn’t do one)

Wading in makes it a little safer

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