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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Akkurt

Benefits of open water swimming

The thought of submerging yourself in cold water for fun seems alien to many, crazy and not something you would benefit from. For me however this is something and probably one of the only things that brings me such buzz, something that makes me feel fully present and alive.

I have been swimming outdoors for a couple of years now and it has been the best thing i have done, its not always easy finding the time to go if youre not close to a suitable swimming spot, but the commitment is worth it.

Open water swimming or dipping goes back years, and has always been known to encourage inner focus, and enhances well being. But why? below are just some of the reasons that cold water submersion is good for you:-

  • Exposing your body to cold water causes changes in hormone secretion, studies have shown that norepinephrine increases during cold exposure, norepinephrineis responsible for regulating attention, focus and energy.

  • Stress response- the bodys response to cold water triggers the release of several hormones, the main three including adrenalin, noradrenaline and cortisol, as a reaction to this cascade effect several other hormones will follow- dopamine,seratonin and endorphins - these hormones are responsible for feelings of happiness and mental balance.

  • Heart - Greater blood flow to the heart and internal organs resulting in a lower heart rate and stroke volume

TIP!!! - Heres a little tip if your are sat there reading this thinking shes crazy how can freezing yourself make you feel more alive and improve your well being, the next time you have an important meeting, exam or interview, try having a cold shower first and you will notoce you feel more energetic, positive and more menatlly ready. Of course if you are just starting out, dont step straight in to a freezing cold shower, try slowly decreasing the temperature from warm to cold. Focus on your breathing and relaxing your body whilst under the cold water, the discomfort subsides after a min or two i promise.

Below are some of my favourite photos of my wild swimming adventures.

Thank you for reading and remember if you are in any doubt about your health please consult a GP before undertaking any activity involving cold water, go in slowly, do not jump in !! Take it slowly and reap the rewards.

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