Activity 66/150

Polar Bear Dip

A polar bear dip or ‘polar dip’ is the act of jumping into water in the winter despite the freezing temperatures.

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History
Polar bear dips are a Canadian New Year’s Day tradition in communities across the country and are usually held as fundraisers for local swim clubs or other charities.

Where
Any cold body of water can be used for a polar bear dip.

How to play
Before you polar dip, you should know how to swim first. Then, gather a group of people, choose a cold body of water, and jump in! Be prepared to shriek!

Suggested equipment
- Bathing suit
- Warm clothes for after the dip

Adaptations
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.

Sensory

How Canadian is a polar bear dip? Someone with a visual impairment may choose to do this in pairs. Have boundaries clearly defined and provide verbal directions.

There are no modifications required for someone who is Deaf or has a hearing impairment with the exception of providing appropriate communication.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

If desired, this activity can be modified by participating with a buddy, using a floatation device, providing assistance in and out of the water or even consider using a pool instead of icy waters.

Mobility Limitation

If desired, this activity can be modified by participating with a buddy, using a floatation device, providing assistance in and out of the water or even consider using a pool instead of icy waters.

Benefits of Polar Bear Dip

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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CONTACT
Michelle Murray
Communications Coordinator