For many of us, a new year means a new set of challenges, goals and resolutions to accomplish in 2015!
Open water swimming has becoming increasingly popular, with people all over the country taking to inland lakes, rivers and canals as well as the open sea to test their swimming strength.
If you’re thinking of taking a leap from the comfort of your local pool to the tests of the open water in 2015, Adam Walker, Zoggs ‘Open Water Swimming Ambassador and the first Briton to complete the testing “Ocean's seven” challenge, has kindly shared some of his top reasons for taking on the trials and tribulations of this exhilarating form of exercise….
1. Open Space! With no pool walls or lanes, you can swim in your own space and at your own pace without the concern of anyone tapping at your heels.
2. Expanding your social circle The social benefits are great! There are countless groups of open water swimmers throughout the country who get together on a regular basis to enjoy a nice (cold) dip. Find a club near you by visiting: http://www.openwaterclubs.org.uk
3. Being at one with nature It’s pretty exhilarating to experience nature at its best in the open water. The below video says it all….
4. Physically and mentally challenging Acclimatising to the cold temperatures of the open water is pretty testing – pushing you both physically and mentally! The heat loss from your skin can be up to 70 times greater than air of equal temperature, therefore training your body's cold responses is sometimes as much of an achievement as completing the swim itself! For beginners, wetsuits are recommended to help adjust to the waters temperature and improve buoyancy.
5. Increase Energy Cold water boosts energy levels, nerve endings stand up and your heart starts racing - it is the best possible way to get a natural high!
6. Weight loss When your body is exposed to cold, it requires more heat to warm you up. Therefore, to do so your body has to process more energy, helping you burn fat more efficiently and increase your metabolism.
7. Minimise Pain Cold water immersion is a healing technique used among amateur and professional athletes to help with injury and muscle pain. Swimming in such cold water temperatures can have the same desired effect, helping to minimise pain if you have an injury – reducing chronic pain, body aches and inflammation. The harsh temperatures can also help regulate the nervous system and improve overall circulation.
8. Immune system boost It has been proven by scientists that by being immersed in cold water 3 times a week it increases your white blood counts which helps fight infection and boost your immune system by activating antibodies and increasing metabolic rate.
9. Personal Achievement Whether you complete your first open water swim or your first competition - simply adapting to the temperature of the water compared to the pool and not being able to see what’s below you is an achievement in itself. The sense of personal accomplishment is pretty amazing!
10. Its lots of fun!! It’s a great way to push your fitness, meet new people and experience something new!