Open-water swimming WHAT IS IT?
Escape the confines of the pool and discover the joy of an al fresco dip in lidos, lakes, tarns, rivers, the sea – anywhere that’s safe. ‘The main attraction is getting back to nature. Wild swimming allows you to become part of the environment and that’s a privilege,’ says Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) director Oliver Pitt.
All the benefits of swimming and then some, thanks to the added resistance of a current or waves. Even if you don’t swim far or hard, getting active in nature has proven mental health benefits. And outdoor-swim fans say the endorphin boost from cold water immersion is amazing!
Open-water swimming Travel Photo Gallery
HOW TO TRY IT
The OSS website (outdoorswimmingsociety.com) is a great resource. Many triathlon and watersports centres offer outdoor swimming lessons. ‘Depending on the water temperature and how long you intend to stay in, you may need a wetsuit, but in summer you’re fine in a swimming costume,’ says Pitt. There are a few safety guidelines: ‘Always wear a brightly coloured swim hat and don’t swim alone,’ he says. ‘Ideally go with someone more experienced at first. Know where you’re going to get out of the water before you get in. And keep your first dip short – don’t let yourself get too cold or tired.’ Visit wildswim.com for outdoor swimming locations.
KEY KIT: Look elegant in the Nike Swim Rush Heather High Neck One Piece (1), £60; asos.com. KEEN’s EVOFIT One sandals (2), £100, keenfootwear.com, will protect your feet on rocks and are happy to get wet. Aquasphere’s Vista goggles (3) are designed for outdoor use, £28.99; aquasphereswim.com/uk.
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