Wild swimming has been a hot topic for a few years now, finding itself in the media spotlight and growing in popularity across the UK . Why has this trend happened exactly? Well, wild swimming provides swimmers with the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of the open waters – something you obviously can’t do in enclosed swimming pools. With wild swimming, keen water goers can plunge themselves into lakes, rivers, and oceans; surrounding themselves in nature.
Wild swimming is so much more than a quick paddle though. It comes with numerous added benefits that can make this hobby incredibly worthwhile. It can help to boost your immune system, improve circulation and fitness, and act as a potential aid for mental health.
If wild swimming sounds like you’re kind of thing, then we have everything you need to know to get you started right here. From definitions of wild swimming to information on safety guidelines right on through to how you can join wild swimming groups, we’ve got you covered.
What Is Wild Swimming?
Wild swimming is essentially just swimming outdoors in natural spaces like seas, rivers, or lakes. It has recently seen a major rise in popularity as more and more people look to engage with the natural world.
Wild swimming is perhaps best done in the summer when many people like to seek escape from the sun in the shape of a lake or rock pool. Intrepid adventurers and people who don’t mind getting extra chilly, however, can wild swim all year round. Those into winter wild swimming will tell you a cold dip is more of a thrill, and can be evangelical about the refreshing and revitalising benefits.
Why Go Wild Swimming?
When talking about wild swimming, being at one with nature is always a massive pull factor. This is what this pastime enables you to do. Having the chance to enter the open water with a minimal amount of clothing and equipment will give you a massive sense of freedom.
The benefits of diving into natural waters are enormous. Immersing yourself in cold water can soothe muscle soreness, help with depression, and give you a natural kick of endorphins.
Dipping into cold water is widely thought to strengthen mental constitution and physical wellbeing. After the initial dip, and the shock of the water’s usually lower temperature, advocates of wild swimming report a feeling of elation. Your body will start to adapt to the conditions, you’ll build up a tolerance, and, whisper it quietly, you’ll start to enjoy yourself.
Where Can You Go Wild Swimming?
Picking that perfect location can always be tricky, whether you’re trying to find a shady forest rockpool or a hidden picturesque waterfall. The Outdoor Swimming Society has created an interactive map that, in normal times, pinpoints wild swimming spots across the globe. It even allows you to contribute some of your own spots once you find them.
If you see wild swimming as that chance to get away from technology (many do), then why not do it the old-fashioned way. Just grab a map, a compass, and bring along a sense of adventure as you discover and enjoy natural bodies of water using your own intuition.