We’re all being made increasingly aware that we’re not spending enough time amongst the great outdoors! The benefits of filling your lungs with the fresh, crisp air, as well as the ability to partake in some gentle exercise, have been proven to boost both our mental and physical wellbeing.
Come summer, autumn, winter or spring, there’s a growing number of people who are heading out into the elements, embracing the outdoors and taking a plunge into the cold waters for a swim!
If you’re considering popping your toes into the waters, here’s a few reasons why I think you should put it to the top of your bucket list and give it ago.
Most of us can appreciate a fun and free activity to keep ourselves, and our family’s busy, and outdoor swimming is just that. Although there may be the travel expense of reaching your chosen swimming spot, once you arrive, you can put those wallets away. It an exhilarating and enlivening experience that comes without a hefty price tag!
Break Free from Routine
If you can’t remember the last time you branched out and tried a new experience, then there’s no better reason to give wild swimming a go. Mix up your routine and taking part in something out of your norm is a liberating feeling that can help to reignite your passion for life.
Gain a Sense of Adventure
Cold-water swimming encourages you to explore. As you research and discover new places which are suitable for you to take a chilling plunge, you will come across beautiful locations, where tranquillity and restoration awaits!
Get ‘Back to Nature’
Cold-water swimming allows you to escape the chaos of your bustling daily life and spend more time amongst nature. So many of us now live in busy towns or hectic cities, each providing very little green space. Heading somewhere relatively untouched by humans provides a serene experience, where you can reconnect with yourself and the world around you.
Improve Your Fitness Levels
Whether you’re a gym fanatic or testing the waters when it comes to regular exercise, there’s no doubt that cold water swimming will get your heart pumping!
A dip in the waters, for as little as five minutes or as long as an hour, will help to improve your overall fitness. This can then be increased further when you dedicate yourself to completing the activity on a more regular basis. Swimming is also known to be one of the least-impactful exercises, with little to no pressure being applied to your joints!
Boost Your Mood
Looking for that feel-good factor? As a form of exercise, cold water swimming can help to promote the production of the mood-boosting chemicals in your brain! The release of dopamine and serotonin when you exercise can help to improve and maintain a positive mental wellbeing.
A Sense of Community
As more and more people are showing an interest in cold-water swimming, there’s several clubs and groups which have started up to match the increased popularity. If you’re looking for a way to meet new people and share the experience, then all you have to do is sign up and get involved!
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do something as courage as taking a dip in some potentially icy waters is a fantastic way to increase your self-confidence and recognise your personal strength. Understandably, braving a plunge into the cold isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve set yourself the task, and you enjoy completing it, then your sense of accomplishment and self-reward will be enhanced.
If you’re planning on taking part in cold-water swimming, there are a few essentials you will need!
- Swimming costume
- Wetsuit (this isn’t essential, but some swimmers find it helps with the cold!)
- Outdoor change robe
- Swim hat – these might look silly, but getting out of the water with near-dry hair is often appreciated in the depths of winter!
- Mobile phone
If you’re planning an adventure in the outdoors, I’d recommend letting a friend or relative know where and when you’re headed, and what time they can expect to hear from you or when you’ll be back.
Are you considering taking the plunge and going cold water swimming? I’d love to hear of how you got on, as well as see some of the pictures you’ve taken of the beautiful locations you’ve visited! Get in touch on my social media channels.