Perhaps you have only recently heard of the phenomenon of cold water swimming, and are wondering whether to add it to your bucket list.

It’s becoming increasingly popular, so what are the benefits of swimming in cold water? Do remember that swimming outdoors potentially has some risks, so be sure to acclimatise and always let somebody know where you are if you plan on going alone.


How to Start

Natural water bodies typically have a temperature of no more than 15°C (59°F), at least in the UK anyway! So, it will certainly be invigorating and may push your physical limits.

However, it could offer numerous health benefits, such as a boost to your immune system and improved blood circulation. The initial shock of the cold water could be quite intense, and you may panic, so you need to stay calm.

Your natural reaction will be to gasp for breath and your heart rate may increase. Keep your head above the water, and wade in slowly. Don’t be tempted to jump in, to get it over with!

As simple as it seems, build up to your first attempt by having cold showers, to get used to these sensations.

What to Wear

Don’t assume you can wear your regular swimming gear, ideally, you need a neoprene wetsuit, to protect your body from the cold temperature. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap, to be easily seen and goggles, to protect your vision.

You may also wish to bring a swim tow float, in case you get cramps, and need to rest. Make sure you have towels ready for when you get out and need to quickly warm up.

If you wish to try cold water swimming, consult your doctor first. Above all, enjoy the experience, it can be addictive!


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