In Focus:

Here’s What Happens to Your Body During a Polar Bear Plunge

Of all the ways to ring in the new year, jumping into frigid water while nursing a hangover seems like one of the least appealing options. Still, that hasn’t stopped thousands of people around the world from stripping down to their bathing suits on January 1st, and diving into the nearest ocean or lake.

A typical polar bear plunge event involves running into the water until you're partially or completely submerged. And while enthusiasts say the icy dip spikes their adrenaline, some experts are decidedly less than thrilled about the ritual.

Plunging into cold water can actually be deadly, particularly for people with heart conditions, who might have a heart attack or drown, says Mike Tipton, PhD, a professor of human and applied physiology and a researcher at the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. “Immersion in cold water is one of the greatest stressors we can place on our body," he explains.

More hot stories

Can Probiotics Really Help a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections occur when there’s an overgrowth of yeast (a fungus) in the vagina and the balance of bacteria gets thrown off. So it might seem that consuming probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, could help restore the balance and clear up symptoms or prevent...

Read More

The Truth About Beet Juice

Most lists of "super foods" don't include beetroot juice, but maybe they should. Beet juice may boost stamina to help you exercise longer, improve bloodflow, and help lower blood pressure, some research shows. Why? Beets are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates. Through a chain reaction, your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps with blood flow...

Read More

Loss of sex drive in men

It's natural for men to notice a gradual decrease in sex drive (libido) as they age. The degree of this decline varies, but most men maintain at least some amount of sexual interest well into their 60s and 70s. Sometimes, however, loss of sex drive is related to an underlying condition....

Read More