Wild Swimming – A Guide For Beginners
Wild Swimming, also known as open water swimming, is defined as swimming in a body of water that isn’t man-made. Just now you’ve probably thought to yourself: “That’s not special, I swim in the sea all the time!” Well, maybe you’ve got us there…but let’s kick it up a notch!
We’re going to take a look into the real world of Wild Swimming, and the many ways it can benefit you, whilst also trying to clue you in on what you need to know for your first time in (potentially) uncharted waters.
Why Should You Wild Swim?
One of the biggest benefits to Wild Swimming has to be the adventure! As we said, don’t think about this as swimming in the sea, think about this as going on holiday, throwing on your swimsuit, and travelling down a beautiful river surrounded by astonishing vistas without the need for a boat.
The connection you can experience with the world around you is said to be truly heightened whilst Wild Swimming. We often see a river or lake and pass up the opportunity, instead sitting on a bench or a verge. Wouldn’t you rather be in it?
So, assuming we’ve successfully sold you on the idea of Wild Swimming as a concept, can you expect to experience any physical or mental benefits?
Go anywhere where Wild Swimming is being talked about and you’re likely to get the same answer: It’s an ‘in-the-moment’ experience.
It is an experience that leaves you with that connection to nature we talked about, but also some greater connection to yourself.
It should come as no surprise that these waters are going to be very cold! But it is this chill that people comment on the most. Controlling your breathing and keeping yourself moving, is that self-awareness people will talk about. Through this, people have commented feeling more calm and relaxed during their day-to-day life.
How Should You Wild Swim?
The most important thing to consider when going Wild Swimming is, of course, safety.
Whilst all open water will begin to look inviting after a while, it’s very important to check the surroundings and conditions before you dive in!
Especially in the beginning, the chill we spoke about earlier is going to be your greatest enemy. This isn’t going to be like swimming up and down your local pool; not in the slightest.
The water can potentially limit you and your capabilities, so it’s best to keep close to shore so you can hop out ASAP. Another reason for this is in case you experience cold shock; this is why you shouldn’t attempt proper Wild Swimming without a buddy!
We can go on and on about the many things you should do before Wild Swimming, but the best place to get your advice is to read what the experts are writing themselves! Over at wildswimming, not only will you be able to see our points re-iterated, but you’ll find a wealth of other information to dive into.