Why is wild swimming the new 'in' thing in Britain? By Ethy Ttoffali
Cold water swimming: slowly dying or a moment of actually living? To most, going in the sea on New Year’s Day, in England, is their idea of a nightmare. However, once you know the benefits of cold water swimming, it may just become your next ‘best thing’. Here are some benefits of this hobby which indicate the reasons for its current popularity.
1. It boosts your immune system. Cold water swimming, according to scientists, helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. This improves your immune system by making your body better at defending you from diseases. 2. It gives you a natural high. This hobby activates endorphins making us feel positive and determined during activities. This sport, more than others, lets off the endorphins that make us happier. Cold water swimming brings us close to the pain barrier meaning endorphins are released dramatically in order to help the body cope with the pain. 3. It reduces stress. School can be stressful sometimes and what better to make the stress disappear than this surreal experience? This hobby places stress on the body physically and mentally but, as a direct result of the experience, swimmers become calmer and more relaxed. When you need to relax, or have some ‘you time’ just take a dip. 4. It forces you to socialise. I know meeting new people can be daunting, especially as a teenager, when we want to lock ourselves in our rooms but the art of socialising is a necessary skill to possess for all aspects of life. This event not only helps to hone socialisation skills but you may even make new long term friends. There is nothing that brings people together like facing a challenge and sharing the thrilling experience as a group. 5. It improves circulation. The best way to get the blood pumping round your body is to go cold water swimming because the cold forces blood to the surface and helps to warm our extremities. This helps us to adapt to the cold and obviously keeps us alive. 6. It boosts your self esteem. Doing something that tests your limits takes courage, determination and motivation but once you have accomplished the goal your mental strength increases. It gives rise to the belief that, now you have accomplished this, you can accomplish anything: you will likely become more resilient in other areas of life too. Overall, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks; this hobby benefits you physically but also mentally by increasing your self esteem for example. Get over it! (the cold that is) and you will soon be living your best, most invigorated life.
Warning: always swim with others and do not take unnecessary risks. Seek advice on the safest places to go. Tip: start your prep by turning the shower to cold at the end of your morning ritual: even 30 seconds under the cold shower will provide the same benefits to your body and soul.