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Any keen swimmers will have felt the absence of their local swimming pool during lockdown, but you know what they say - when one door closes another one opens because now is the perfect time to consider wild swimming. Here are five reasons swimming in nature could be the exercise for you.
Switch up your exercise routine
Let’s face it, leisure centres and gyms can be dull places at the best of times and if there’s one thing that’s sure to kill off a regular exercise routine, it’s boredom. Enter wild swimming. There’s nothing quite like swimming in a river with a duck paddling beside you or enjoying the invigorating morning spray of the sea to make your workout experience more fulfilling.
Be cool under pressure
When you go for a wild swim, you’re sure to feel the cold temperature of the water, but that’s only one of the ways that it will cool you off. Immersing your body in cold water releases stress responses (e.g. increased heart rate, breathing pattern and blood pressure) and the more often you put your body into this state, the better equipped it is to deal with stress in your everyday life.
Connect with the great outdoors
Swimming in the wild is an opportunity to connect with nature in a very unique way. More than walking through your local park or cycling through the countryside, wild swimming (literally) immerses you with the great outdoors. The hustle and bustle of modern life mean that we could all do with a bit more time enjoying naturally peaceful surroundings.
Improve your mood
If there’s one thing to be said about wild swimmers it’s that they are all very enthusiastic about their pastime. Why? Because it makes them feel good. Swimming in cold water has been proven to release endorphins and dopamine in much larger levels than most other forms of exercise. Connect this with the scenic surroundings and the freedom that wild swimming provides, it’s clear to see why people rave about it.
There are so many places to choose from
Up and down the country, there are hidden gems that are perfect for wild swimming. Whether you want to jump into the ‘bottomless’ 60ft pool beneath the Linhope Spout in rural Northumberland, go catch the waves at Bude Sea Pool in Cornwall or go for a city-swim in Hampstead Ponds, London, there is sure to be a natural swimming location near you that’s waiting to be explored.
Swimming in the great outdoors is a great chance for every man to explore his wilder side and reconnect with nature. It’s a great way to keep your stress levels low, your positive hormones up and get a really different exercise experience.