Deeply satisfying and madly invigorating – the feeling of making a splash in a natural body of water like a lake, river, sea, waterfall or lagoon (‘wild swimming’) is second to none.
Dubbed “wild swimming”, this exhilarating activity not only makes incredible memories but also has a wide range of health benefits!
What Is Wild Swimming?
Many people immediately think that ‘wild swimming’ refers to skinny dipping! In fact, ‘wild swimming’ refers to any kind of swim outside of a traditional swimming pool.
The best reason to go for a wild swim are soaring temperatures. What is more rejuvenating then bathing in cold water on a hot day? Wild swimming is growing in popularity in the UK, as there are many open public spaces which aren’t subject to trespassing laws and where you are permitted to swim.
What Are The Benefits Of Wild Swimming?
Some swimmers swear by “wild swimming” for its health benefits. In fact, some might even object to the term and say that it’s just “swimming”, with no prefixes or suffixes! These hardcore swimmers will tell you that there is no better form of hydrotherapy than a dip outdoors.
While many people prefer to swim in chlorinated pools in leisure centres or in their own backyard because of health and safety concerns, there are also immense health benefits to be gained by a wild swim!
Let’s have a look at the ways wild swimming contributes to maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. A wild dip in cold water will:
1. Boost your white blood cell count and strengthen your immune system by activating its defences against changing conditions. It will improve your blood circulation through veins, artilleries, and capillaries, and push your extremities to endure cold or cold-like conditions.
2. Enhance your oestrogen and testosterone production, increasing your libido and fertility!
3. Give you a natural high with a powerful shot of de-stressing endorphins! Warning… the pleasant sensation of outdoor swimming can become addictive (a good, worthwhile addiction)!
Proper Safety Precautions for Wild Swimming
We know that most people – especially a bunch of teenagers, for example – won’t think twice about wading and paddling in open water, but it is essential to be aware of and take safety precautions so that everyone can have the best experience!
Following these recommendations, which are in line with expert advice, to ensure a safe and enjoyable wild swimming adventure:
Avoid venturing in naked if the water is really freezing or if you are in a crowded, non-nudist location. It is much better for your health to wear a proper swimming costume or wetsuit for insulation in chilly waters. If it floats your boat to get naked in a remote or empty location (beach, lake, river, etc.), and you judge it is safe to do so, go for it: just be sure to follow the etiquette!
Dipping in the murky water places may require swimmers to wear swim goggles for ultimate protection from saltwater and various elements.
Always keep a stack of warm and dry clothes/towels nearby for changing immediately after a brisk or prolonged swim trip.
Where To Go ‘Wild’ For Swimming?
Wild swimming has always been popular in UK, particularly in the summertime in the warmer south of England. Here is a list of popular swimming locations if you are a first-time wild swimmer in Enlgand looking for an expedition spot:
Outney Common, River Waveney, Suffolk
Sharrah Pool, River Dart, Dartmoor
Kelmscott, River Thames, Oxfordshire
Galleny Force, Stonethwaite, Lake District
Anchor Inn, River Ouse, Sussex
Do you know any good swimming spots near where you live? Where’s your favourite place to go for a wild swim? Have you got any special memories of swimming outdoors? Let us know in the comments below!