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The Benefits of Wild Swimming

Last updated August 12, 2021

When it comes to wellness, several activities now take advantage of the health benefits that nature offers. For example, forest bathing has become increasingly popular as a way to meditate and be physically active. 

Likewise, a number of wellness vacations now entice travelers because of their exquisite natural beauty. 

In the same vein as these wellness pursuits, wild swimming also offers a similar level of attraction. And despite what you think, it doesn’t always have to mean freezing yourself to death!

What Is Wild Swimming?

When someone mentions wild swimming today, most envision dozens of swimmers entering some icy lake in the midst of winter. Indeed, this is how it became so popular in recent years.

But in actuality, the term wild swimming really refers to any opportunity to swim in more obscure, outdoor, natural settings. The “wild” aspect of this activity is what is believed to be so invigorating, extreme temperatures aside. 

And it is also the component that is believed to offer the health benefits this wellness activity offers. 

What Are the Health Benefits?

Several health benefits have been documented when it comes to wild swimming. Notably, many of these health benefits relate to submersion in extremely cold waters. 

Specific advantages in these settings include enhanced mood, reduced stress and improved vascular circulation. And at the same time, this type of swimming also is known to reduce muscle and joint pains for extended periods of time. 

Some even have claimed it helped their migraines, boosted their immune system and improved their self-confidence. 

While these health benefits are mostly noted with swimming in colder waters, wild swimming in warmer waters also offers advantages. For one, the natural beauty where one swims facilitates a reconnection to nature. 

This reconnection is known to enhance spiritual and mental wellness while also encouraging physical exercise. Likewise, wild swimming is best enjoyed when shared with a group. 

This has additional health benefits related to social wellness in addition to the other advantages mentioned. 

The Smart Approach to Wild Swimming

If you are thinking about trying cold water swimming, there are some precautions you might want to consider. This is especially true for cold water swimming since the risk of hypothermia is real. 

Experts support swimming in these instances due to their health benefits, but they encourage sticking to some basic rules. 

First, allow your body to acclimate to the temperature change by slowly submerging yourself in the water.  And secondly, do not stay submerged for more than 20 minutes. 

By following these recommendations, and by swimming with a group, you can best realize all the health benefits wild swimming has to offer. 

Wild Swimming – From Domestic to Exotic

For many wellness seekers, swimming is an activity they perform all the time right in their own backyard. Local lakes, ponds and waterfronts can serve as excellent resources in this regard. 

But for others, they prefer to enjoy wild swimming on a wellness retreat or travel escape. Numerous options exist here as well with some being rather unique and exceptional.

Specifically, some of the more exotic locales for wild swimming might include the Caribbean, Croatia or even Slovenian Lakes. 

No matter what your preference, swimming is an excellent wellness activity with notable health benefits. And it’s something you certainly should consider if you’re looking for a wellness adventure.

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