If you are lucky enough to live near the water then you might see the odd, brave soul venturing out for a swim in the deepest darkest days of winter. But as the weather warms and the sun twinkles off of the rippling water you might be tempted to join them?!
Wild swimming is the sport de jour. Celebrities, influencers and your friends are posting about their daily dips. So is now the time to join them?
So what is wild swimming? Swimming can be considered wild in any natural body of water. From the sea to a lake or even your local river.
It can be meditative - often the water is so cold that you cant physically think of anything else. No worrying about dinner tonight or what's happening at work. Instead you can try to focus on your breath, your stroke, the water around you. All ways to really switch off and be present in the moment.
It can increase your happy hormones and reduce stress - Immersion in cold water can boost dopamine levels by 500%! You may notice a post swim high - a sign that your serotonin levels have increased. It can also reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) if you swim regularly.
You engage with nature - swimming regularly outside can bring you closer to nature. You will recognise the changes in season, notice subtle shifts which can make you more mindful.
It may reduce inflammation - stress is thought to cause inflammation so reducing stress reduces inflammation which can help to stop some significant diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
If you do want to give wild swimming a try please make sure you do it safely. The Outdoor Swimming Society has plenty of tips on how to get started. And if you do go out this year then tag me in your photos on Instagram @simply.wellbeing I would love to see them!