Wildswimming also known as Swimming 😊
Updated: Jan 9
Wild swimming, or swimming in natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and the sea, has gained popularity in recent years as a way to connect with nature and improve mental health.
Research has shown that exposure to natural environments can have a positive impact on mental well-being, and activities such as wild swimming that involve immersion in nature can provide even greater benefits.
One study, known as the "Blue Health" research, found that living near the coast and participating in water-based activities such as wild swimming is associated with improved mental health and well-being. The study suggests that the combination of physical activity and exposure to natural environments may be responsible for the positive effects.
Another way that wild swimming can benefit mental health is through the practice of cold water immersion, popularized by Wim Hof, a Dutch extreme athlete known as the "Iceman." Hof has developed a method of cold water immersion and breathing techniques that he claims can improve mental and physical health, boost the immune system, and increase resilience to stress.
While the scientific evidence for these claims is limited, many people have reported positive experiences with the Wim Hof method, including improvements in mood and overall well-being.
If you're interested in trying wild swimming, it's important to take safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Choose a suitable location:
Look for a natural swimming area that is free from hazards such as currents, deep drop-offs, and underwater debris.
Know your limits:
Start slowly and build up your endurance and tolerance to cold water gradually. It's important to listen to your body and stop if you start to feel uncomfortable.
Wear a wetsuit or other protective gear:
Wearing a wetsuit can help to keep you warm in cold water and protect against cuts and scrapes.
Of course you can go without, however you will be more comfortable and stay in longer if you wear a wetsuit and still get all the benefits.
Go with a friend:
It's always a good idea to have a buddy with you when you're participating in any outdoor activity, especially if you're in a remote location.
Be seen :
Wear bright clothing, a bright hat. ( Never under estimate the warming effect of a wolly hat !)
Use a swim / tow float such as this selection for Ulu, we tried and tested these and highly recommend.
Not only will they help you be seen but you can carry a phone, snacks, keys, clothes and emergency equipment in them.
Learn basic safety skills:
Knowing how to swim and being comfortable in the water is essential for wild swimming. If you're not a strong swimmer, consider taking a lesson or joining a group guided by a trained instructor.
We offer training for beginners through to those who wish to become certified Swimming guides as well as safety and rescue courses for Wildswiming groups.
If you'd like to find out more about what we can offer the adventurous swimmer get in touch.
By following these simple precautions, you can enjoy the many benefits of wild swimming while staying safe.