I am fortunate to have always lived by the sea. I was in the Royal Navy for 14 years so there must be some natural attraction to water. Over the last 5 years I have really fallen in love with sea swimming and have started doing marathon swimming events such as the River Dart 10km swim. The appeal of open water swimming is about being absorbed into nature, feeling the power of the sea, sensing and moving with its every motion. I love the fact that I can be go from my home to sea in less than 10 minutes and no gym membership is required! I would love other people to give open water swimming a go. Heres a few reasons why:

Is open water swimming good for my physical health?

YES YES and YES!!!! Cold water adaptation reduces inflammation and with this it can help us to prevent the common cold and improve our immunity. Swimming in open water is a vascular work out and pretty essential seeing as Heart Disease is our biggest killer. For more information on this listen to Dr Mark Harper at:

https://www.headtalks.com/healing-madness-sea-swimming-by-mark-harper/

So swimming is already a great aerobic exercise which burns calories but guess what? Swimming in cold water will make your body work twice as hard to keep you warm and burn more calories in the process! Win win I say.

Is open water swimming good for my mental health?

YES YES and again YES!!!! But don’t take my word for it. Check out the doctor my 8-year old daughter absolutely loves, Dr Chris Van Tulleken https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p047z0k9 who does an experiment of exposure to very cold water. What he said and what is well documented is that the cold water exposure initially starts to feel like a panic attack but as this passes it then becomes extremely exhilarating. Otherwise known as “Getting high on your own supply!” 

Whim Hof- The Ice Man!

man diving into a freezing lake

I recently attended a Whim Hof workshop to learn skills from the master himself (aka THE ICE MAN) all about cold exposure and the power of the breath. I have even included some of my notes from the workshop. Also check out Russell Brand’s podcast with the iceman himself.

The hof man principles diagram

Is there any point in just doing a quick dip?

To get some mental health benefits, just putting just your face in the water triggers the parasympathetic nervous system so this will be enough to improve your mood and give you that feel good factor. To get some mental health and physical health benefits just getting your body into cold water such as the sea will make you feel amazing.

How do I get started?

Grab your costume, set off to your local beach and get in the sea obviously taking sea conditions into account. For more details go to

https://www.familyadventureproject.org/open-water-swimming-tips-for-beginners/

You don’t need lots of expensive kit. A costume, googles and a bright hat will be enough but a wet suit does come in handy at times! For more info on kit check out

https://www.swimming.org/justswim/open-water-swimming-kit/

I also have an open water swimming group on facebook which you are more than welcome to join. Join using this link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/217247505289836/

At FitAgain we are all about offering opportunities and support people to come out of their comfort zone, experience new things within fitness and most importantly have fun. I feel open water swimming offers exactly this. FitAgain are also extending our love of the sea to bring together a water polo team for the UK’s only water polo championship that takes place in the sea on the 3rd/4th August 2019 in Lyme Regis. Get in touch at info@fitagain.co.uk to take part or come along and cheer us on. 

FitAgain swimming team after a sea swim

FitAgain swimming team after a sea swim