When both the temperatures and rain start falling, many will turn indoors to their comfy sofas and warm beds, but only some may think of slipping on their bathing suits to head out for a swim.
Cold water swimming has been practiced for many years already and yet its benefits are only starting to become more widely appreciated. From boosting your confidence to calming your nerves and inflammations, here are the top reasons why you should go swimming this winter and not fold away your bathing suit just yet.
Challenge yourself to build your confidence
Let’s face it, even regular cold-water swimmers would still feel more comfortable sitting on their couch by a warm fire. However, stepping out from under the blankets and out of your comfort zone forces you to defy your habits. Gathering up the courage to go out into the cold is a great way to challenge yourself and build your confidence along the way.
Whilst we can assure you that those few minutes (or seconds) spent in the cold water will certainly not be the most comfortable ones, being able to overcome that mental barrier will equally certainly serve you in other areas of your life when such persistence may be needed.
Freeze away the stress
If you feel yourself growing more stressed every time your to-do list loops over in your head, going swimming in cold water can help you take your mind off things which might be making you anxious.
Since your body is not used to being held at such low temperatures, it will absorb all the brain’s attention to signal just how cold it is. If you happen to be anywhere in the UK during the month of December, it will indeed be very cold and leave you with very little space and time to worry about any upcoming deadlines.
In the same way that practising a sport can help one destress by focusing your mind on your body and the imminent action happening in front of you, adding in the cold to your regular swim can further promote this sense of mindfulness.
Boost immunity and discourage inflammations
Whether you have watched the recent Olympic athletes jumping into their ice baths in between competitions or have heard of it under its more fanciful name as cryotherapy, cold water immersion is well known for its benefits.
Most notably, it is known to help speed up muscle recovery by decreasing inflammation as the low temperatures draw blood away from your limbs and towards your primary organs. Another suspected benefit which has been noticed in regular cold-water swimmers is a stronger immune system. The body’s reaction to the stress of cold water may be linked to a greater production of white blood cells which may help you avoid the seasonal flu.
Enjoy a unique experience
Ultimately, few can claim to have gone swimming in sub-10°C water once in their life, even less so on a regular basis. Cold-water swimming is a thrilling experience for oneself but also to share with other swimming enthusiasts. It can be great fun to challenge your swimming routine whilst also enjoying the outdoors in a new and exciting way. Cold bodies of water tend to be readily available in winter, be it the sea, a pond or a river, the setting is one of the great appeals of swimming in the open during winter.
Open water swimming is a great way to test your swimming out of the pool and to make the most of the natural landscape around you. If you have yet to have had a dip outside of your swimming pool, you can find out how to prepare for your first open water swim here.
Too cold to swim?
If the first half of cold-water swimming still doesn’t appeal to you, or you feel that you would rather focus on your swimming technique, there is no reason why you cannot go swimming indoors this winter. If you are happy to forego, or delay, the benefits of cold-water swimming, there are still many reasons why you shouldn’t hang up your swimsuit just yet.
If you have yet to enjoy the benefits of swimming or need some more convincing before packing your swim bag and heading to your local pool, you can find out how swimming can boost your physical and mental performance.
Winter is also a great time to work on your swimming technique ahead of the next summer and to avoid losing out on your swimming progress. Booking a private swimming lesson is a great way to improve on your swimming by keeping you motivated and moving during the colder winter months. Going Swimmingly London offers a range of classes for both adults and children adapted to each student’s starting level and end goals.
Don’t let the wind and rain keep you locked in, get in touch to learn more about booking a private swimming lesson.