Wild Swimming in April | 11.8°C Cold Water River Submersion & The Benefits of Cold Water

Aprils Wild Swim 😀 Cold water has lots of reported health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, heightening your mood, increasing energy levels, metabolism, circulation and mental fortitude & endurance. It can also reduce stress levels; by exposing your body to cold in a controlled way, you may find that your stress response to everyday life stressors is reduced. I always have a lovely sense of wellbeing for a good couple of days after a cold swim. Just remember to keep it short, and listen to your body.

Cold water can be dangerous if it isn’t respected. Here’s some cold-water safety;

– Don’t go alone
– Never jump in – ease yourself in slowly, to avoid cold water shock. If you shock your body, you will involuntarily gasp due to the cold, which can cause you to inhale water (drown)
– It will take your breath away – control your breathing and don’t allow yourself to hyperventilate
– Stay within your depth and always avoid fast moving water and strong currents
– Wear water shoes to protect your feet
– Don’t stay in long – always come out before you start shivering. Hyperthermia only usually becomes a risk after 30 minutes, but listen to your body
– Before getting in, make sure you can easily get out
– Stay close to the edge while you check that your body can handle the drop in temperature and that you can maintain normal use of your limbs
– If it doesn’t feel right, get out
– Bear in mind that your body temperature will continue to drop for a while after you get out of the water – this is called ‘after drop’ and is the result of the cooled blood in your extremities returning to your core
– Go in warm, and have a towel, lots of warm clothes and a warm drink ready for when you get out
– Don’t drive until your temperature has returned to normal
– Never go straight from cold water into a hot shower – let your body temperature return to normal first
– Don’t do a cold-water immersion if you have heart or other health conditions that may make it especially dangerous
– It is always best to start wild swimming in the summer months, and continue regularly into the colder months to allow your body to gradually acclimatize to colder and colder water

And then of course all the normal wild swimming safety applies too – always do your own research and get the relevant advice first – I’m not an expert 🙂

For an idea of how different water temperatures feel, check out https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.co…. For comparison, an indoor heated pool will vary between 26-31°C. Anything below 12°C will feel freezing cold.

Thank you so much for watching 😊 Claire 🌿🐻

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