The Benefits of Open Water Swimming All Year Round
Whether it is sunny, rainy or cold, open water swimming is a refreshing activity that is renowned for its many advantages for both your physical and mental wellbeing. It can bring excitement to an otherwise ordinary weekend and allows you to improve your levels of fitness while enjoying stunning scenery.
Advice On Safety
You should always take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety when open water swimming. There are many aspects to consider including general water safety knowledge, such as being aware of rips and currents as well as ensuring you retain your warmth when exiting the water. Our basic guide can give you a few pointers on what to expect when on the beach.
It is also essential that you consider the more basic precautions such as telling family and friends where you plan to swim and for how long as well as swimming with a companion whenever possible.
Take a look at our tips on sun protection for more information on sun safety when in or near water.
Tips for Beginners
If you are eager to try open water swimming, but are entirely new to the sport, it is recommended to join a local group or club in your area or go to a supervised venue. This way, you can meet like-minded people and pick up some essential safety advice and tips first hand, which may lessen any feelings of being overwhelmed.
Swimming During Coronavirus Restrictions
With lockdown restrictions starting to ease during COVID-19, there may be a few extra considerations in regards to safety and social distancing.
It is especially important that you don’t swim alone during his period, especially on beaches which are yet to receive their RNLI lifeguards.
Furthermore, any arranged outings with others need to abide by social distancing restrictions both in and out of the water.
Physical Health Benefits
Any form of exercise is incredibly important when trying to improve your fitness levels. Open water swimming can progress your health much more than just losing a few pounds, though!
Unless swimming in warmer climates, the temperature of the water tends to be much colder than what you would find in a swimming pool, for example. Furthermore, during the winter months, water temperatures tend to drop even more.
It is this colder sensation which can improve your circulation as blood hurries to your organs to keep you warm. As your body works to stay warm quickly can also improve metabolism as it will use fat as a source of energy to maintain a healthy temperature.
Good for the Brain
As you swap the indoor scenery for beautiful outdoor landscapes, no doubt you will feel more relaxed. Numerous studies show that humans feel calm in natural settings, and they help to reduce stress levels. In turn, this can help you to build protection against more serious mental health issues such as depression.
Challenges Your Mindset
Especially in the colder months, open water swimming becomes much more than the physical demands of your body. It is a challenge for your mentality and pushes you to develop a more determined mindset.
Putting your mind to it and ensuring you swim throughout the year will build up your levels of determination and focus.
With an improvement to stress levels on your mind, cold water is also responsible for rousing up your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which also helps your body to mend itself as well as improve feelings of zen. With your body working, your mind focussing and PNS boosted, this will no doubt help you to sleep at night.
Increases Your Endorphins
Especially during cold temperatures of wintertime, the body releases endorphins when hit with cold water. Endorphins are used by the body to calm the sharp feeling which arises when shocked with cold temperatures.
Open water swimming doesn’t require much equipment. You just need to grab your swimming costume on a hot day and your open water swimming wetsuit during colder weather. Remember your goggles and swim cap and towel, and you’re ready to go.
All your gear will fit neatly into a rucksack; you don’t have to worry about loading and unloading a car with extra equipment or think about the logistics of public transport in holiday locations during busy summer months, for example.
You Can Explore
One favoured in the summer months, open water swimming is the perfect excuse to get out and explore all the beautiful locations in the UK. Think of all those glorious lakes and beaches that you would like to see and make the most of them with the added challenge of an open water swim.
Hopefully, we have supplied you with enough reason to try open water swimming, starting by easing yourself in this summer! What do you like about swimming? Why not let us know on our social media channels?