Wet & Wild
Whether you’re diving into the deep blue or planning a quiet dip in a hidden forest lake, wild swimming has always been one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy and happy. And with so many of us now choosing to dive in (literally!), here’s why it’s a great idea to take the plunge this fall…
Aside from the health benefits that come with exercise in general, wild swimming is amazing for our mental wellbeing. Even just a short dip in the cold water is proven to help relieve depression thanks to the shot of endorphins that comes from the shock of the icy temperatures, plus the direct contact with the elements helps support our natural immunity and promotes stress-relief.
Fun with Friends
Wild swimming is free and available for everyone to enjoy, but you do need to be a strong and confident swimmer that knows how to be safe in the water – swimming in the sea is a lot different to a swimming pool with a shallow end! Therefore, it’s recommended you join a wild swimming club or at least swim with a friend or group to make sure you stay safe. Also find yourself a brightly colored swim hat and swim buoy to keep you noticed in the water.
Take the Plunge
Before getting in the water, it’s important to make sure you’ve found the right stretch for you and your swimming abilities. Check that you can get in and out of the water easily and that you are in a safe place for swimming (it’s best to keep away from busy canals or waterways). Finally, check the water quality and clean beach ratings.
Did we mention the cold? Whilst most wild swimmers wear swimming wetsuits* there are some keen dippers who like to throw off the neoprene and brave the elements in just a swimsuit. Whichever way you choose to get wet, it’s important to get warm and dry as soon as you’re out of the water with hats, hoodies and gloves at the ready. A nice hot drink is also a good idea, so maybe pack a mug.
*Whilst you could wear your old wetsuit that’s been hidden at the back of the closet since you last wore it on vacation five years ago, it probably wasn’t designed for open water swimming, so might be tricky to swim in!