What is Wild Swimming?
For Earth Day last week, the LT Co. team took a dip in the North Sea. Now, whilst I don’t think we were in long enough for it to be considered wild swimming, our dip sparked conversation in the office about the benefits of it.
Wild swimming is defined as a swim in any body of natural water. It’s something that has been done for centuries by people such as Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale. It gained popularity over the last year with swimming pools being closed. The beauty of it is that, other than a swimming costume or a wetsuit in the cooler months, you don’t need equipment to get involved. Just make sure you have warm clothes, a towel and a flask of tea for afterwards and you’re all set!
So, what are the benefits?
A recent study by the British Medical Journal found that wild swimming has a very positive impact on mental health. It was found to be effective in reducing both inflammation as well as cortisol which is the hormone which causes stress. By keeping both of these at lower levels, it can reduce an individual’s likeliness of being effected by anxiety or depression. On the flip side, it increases dopamine and serotonin – the happy hormones! Increasing levels of these will better your mood and keep you feeling positive and productive throughout the day.
Wild swimming allows you to connect with nature. Being based in North Berwick, we’re lucky that we get to spend so much time outside. It’s so easy to do when you’re surrounded by beautiful coastline. For people who live in cities, studies have shown that those who spend 120 minutes a week in green spaces or in nature are happier than those who don’t. Getting involved in something like wild swimming is an easy way of increasing the time you spend in nature.
For more information about keeping safe when wild swimming, you can head over to VisitScotland.
P.S. It’s best to run in the first time!