Swimming in cold water has proven health benefits including improving the immune system, a natural “high” feeling, improved circulation, burns calories.
The Scandinavians have been doing it for years and they’re certainly a healthier bunch than we are!
Recreational swimmers can enjoy all the health benefits without having to have a perfect technique. That said, some of us like to race and some of us like the extreme challenges that the cold water provides.
Whichever category you fit into, there are certain do’s and don’t’s that you should consider for the winter season.
We at YOS are very lucky to have an organised club, a warm club house and excellent safety cover so, there’s no need to nag at anyone regarding the dangers of swimming alone as that will never happen at YOS.
So, let’s look at the kit. It doesn’t have to be expensive gear. However, you may need a couple of bags of kit to take to the lake:-
- Obviously, costume/trunks, hat, goggles, towel.
- Entry/exit footwear – crocs are better than flip flops when you’ve just got out of very cold water and you’re hands and feet are a bit numb.
- A good pair of earplugs – you don’t want to get cold in your ear.
- Use a tow float. If you’re swimming in temperatures that you’ve never been in before or if you’re swimming further at this time of year than ever before, you don’t know how you’re body will cope so, the tow float can be used as a buoyancy aid until the safety boat gets to you.
- Something warm to put on as soon as you get out of the water – Dryrobes are fantastic but they are expensive. A couple of big towels sewn together with a gap for your head will be fine if you’re starting out.
- A warm hat to put on straight away – straight on top of your swim cap will be fine.
- Chunky clothes which are easy to put on. No jeans, tight clothes, fiddly buttons or anything that’s difficult to get on when you’re fingers are cold.
- Layer up. Nobody cares what you look like!
- Warm socks, boots, gloves
- Hot water bottle – for your core,
- Hot drink & cake. We always have plenty of both in the clubhouse. Cold water swimming isn’t just an excuse to eat cake, your blood sugar will drop when in the cold water so, you’ll need to get your blood sugar back up again.
YOS members can get a 10% discount at Robin Hood Watersports when you show your membership card.
The water’s cooling down fast so get you’re kit ready and we’ll see you at the lake.