Outdoor swimming has been all the rage for the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why. The thought of plunging into natural pools of water in the Great British Summer (if it ever appears) is massively appealing, letting you get back in touch with nature in a very real and physical way.
But does it contain any actual benefits? Is it something we should be doing, or is it all just a bit of a fad?
Well, wild swimming might not be for everyone, but we at SwimFreak certainly love it – especially with our trusted SilverSlick triathlon swimming goggles in tow. Read on for our seven reasons to love outdoor swimming.
1. You’ll get more fresh air
The clue for this one’s in the name: you’re outdoors! And as far as we’re concerned, anything that gets you out and about into nature is a good thing. Breathing in fresh, outdoor air that’s full of oxygen is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body – cleaning out your lungs, strengthening your immune system and giving you more energy.
2. It makes you a morning person
Okay, so technically you can go outdoor swimming at any time of day, but it’s pretty common for most outdoor swimmers to hit the water early in the day. This allows you to beat the crowds in any particularly tourist spots, and it’s also just an incredible way to wake yourself up – especially when the water’s cold! Giving yourself a dose of fresh air, cold water and exercise endorphins first thing in the morning will make you look forward to getting out of bed (well – maybe).
3. It’s incredible exercise
Outdoor swimming is actually better exercise than indoor. Why? Well, it’s mostly to do with temperature. Outdoor swimming is, unsurprisingly, normally much much colder than its indoor alternative, so the body has to work much harder to keep you warm – which, in turn, burns more calories. Plus, if you’re swimming in the sea you’ll have the waves to contend with too – giving you an additional calorie-burning boost!
4. It relieves stress
Mindfulness has been a bit of a buzzword over the past few years – it’s essentially the practice of getting a handle on your everyday stress by focusing on being in the moment. For lots of outdoor swimmers, wild swimming is one of the best ways to improve their mindfulness practice in everyday life. After all, nothing gets you focused on the here-and-now quite like diving into a pool of freezing cold water!
5. It improves blood circulation
When you jump into cold water, your heart reacts by working harder to boost blood around the body, sending it to your vital organs. If you go wild swimming on a regular basis your heart will gradually adapt to this over time, making it stronger in the long run and improving blood circulation. So what’s stopping you?
6. It makes you see things from a difference perspective
We’re all used to exploring some of nature’s most wonderful places by foot, or perhaps by bike, but wild swimming allows you to visit some of your favourite environments with a whole new perspective. You know that river you always walk beside, or the beach you visited as a kid? Wild swimming in familiar places like this lets you get to know your environment in a brand new way, increasing your appreciation for the natural world.
7. You’ll become more adventurous
As you get more and more into outdoor swimming, you’ll find yourself looking for brand new places to develop your new swimming hobby. Rather than planning holidays based on hotel ratings on TripAdvisor reviews, you’ll start looking for the best natural springs to dive in. You’ll find yourself sneaking off every weekend to some unexplored location, and most lunch breaks googling for local wild swimming spots you may not have found yet. And couldn’t we all do with being a bit more adventurous, eh?