Cold Water Swimming
15th October 2018
If you want to start swimming throughout the year , it is important to keep swimming outdoors at least once a week from now. This allows you to gradually adjust to the reducing temperatures . So here are our top tips for doing this . (the usual safety instructions for any open water swimming will also apply)
- If you don’t live near the coast find lakes that are open over the winter months . Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Help to prepare by taking cold showers at home
- Reduce the time you spend in the water as the temperature drops
- Make sure your core body temperature is warm before you enter the water , but allow the exposed skin to adjust to the air temperature for a few minutes before you get in
- Walk in slowly with hands in the water and submerge the head only when you have your breathing under control , exhale underwater and acclimatise before you start swimming . Never dive in – it can cause sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
- Know the signs of hypothermia – pale skin, drowsiness, stiff muscles, confusion and slurred speech
- Wearing a wetsuit , gloves, socks and neoprene hat will all help you stay warm for longer
- When you get out dry off quickly . Apply layers of clothing including hats/socks and gloves and have a hot drink ready
- Do not have a hot shower , your body temperature needs to increase slowly
If cold water swimming is not for you but you still want to swim outdoors in the winter you could always explore the many heated lidos in the UK - https://wildswim.com/Collection/Details/9c718bdb-b3d6-41b5-9a9a-a6d900e0369f
But whatever outdoor swimming you do over the winter be sure to share your stories with us!