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Why Go Wild Swimming?

As an avid open water swimmer for the past six years, I have yet to find anything that shifts you into an upbeat, energised frame of mind as much as a cold water swim does. There is never a time that I regret going in, even when I’ve broken ice to plunge or had to battle waves to dive in.

Wild and open-water swimming has been steadily growing in popularity, I believe it is the connection to nature that is the appeal. We are so removed from nature in our modern day world as we spend more and more time in front of screens and indoors.

Wild swimming is a truly intimate experience with nature, helping us to feel more grounded and connected to what it is to be alive and human. It is total escapism, no one can reach you when you are out swimming at sea.

One of the physical benefits of wild swimming is that cold water stimulates the lymphatic system, helping to boost the immune system, perfect in the winter when you want to ward of colds and stay strong. It also stimulates endorphins, the hormones that give you a natural high, creating a positive effect on your well being. The colder you get the bigger the rush, so you basically feel fantastic… it’s just a challenge getting in sometimes!

The freedom of swimming in open water is pure bliss, compared to swimming in a pool. There’s no end of lane, no chlorine, no other swimmers around you, its far more relaxing. You might not be in the water for as long but you can certainly start to build up your time and endurance in the cold water the more wild swimming experiences you have.

If you are keen to start cold water swimming, I would say the first thing to do is to find a swim buddy to go with, so for safety reasons you have someone looking out for you. Then locate a swim location either sea or lake – wild have a number of books out with fabulous locations across the UK. I prefer to swim with no equipment but a swimming wetsuit and a tow float might be something you want to purchase – are great providers of such items.

The Zest Life host a number of yoga and wild swimming retreats throughout the year. Why not join us and be expertly guided on a swim trip experience you will not forget.

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