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Sea Swimming: There Are More Benefits Than You Might Think!

Swimming in the sea is probably something you only really think about on holidays. Those tempting sandy shores, relaxing warm waters and long sunny days. Swimming on holidays usually consists of a lethargic doggy paddle into medium depth, just so you can clamber (often ungracefully) onto a lilo to sunbathe.

 

 

But have you ever thought about sea swimming for exercise? And what about doing it right here in the UK? Before you shiver and turn your heating up a notch, hear us out for a moment, as sea swimming in cold waters has a lot of health benefits…

 

Why Should I Try Sea Swimming?

 

Unlike your local gym or swimming baths, the open sea has a multitude of benefits, both physically and mentally. Instead of the overload of chlorine found in your local swimming pool, seawater is rich in magnesium. Not only can this activate natural healing and alleviate aches and pains in your joints, but it also relaxes your muscles more and significantly aids sleep. The saltwater is also better for your skin than chlorine, and can actually boost your immune system.

 

The sea (especially around Brrrrritain) is rather cold too – and while this doesn’t sound like a good thing, there is a lot of evidence supporting the vast health benefits of cold water therapy. Just ask the Iceman, Wim Hof for more tips on this!

 

From a psychological point of view, sea swimming will put you in a better headspace than any pool could. Instead of being crammed into narrow lanes, occasionally being kicked by other swimmers, or being restricted by their pace… you have the entire ocean at your mercy (kind of). No lanes, no turning around every two minutes. Just open, endless water. Not only will this put you in a better mood, but having nature around you in the form of sunrises or sunsets, and picturesque coastlines lined with trees, is surely much better than a sweaty leisure centre, right?

 

What Equipment Do I Need For Sea Swimming?

 

If you’re still reading, clearly we must have convinced you to give it a go! Now let’s get down to what you need for sea swimming (spoiler alert: not a lilo or holiday bikini). Below we have compiled a list of eight key items that would be ideal to take with you to make your first sea swimming outing a good one!

 

1. Towel robes – these are essential and ideal for changing/drying and keeping you warm before (and importantly after) you enter the water.

 

2. Goggles – not totally necessary, but they will prevent your eyes from stinging in the salty water should you want to put your head under.

 

3. Legsuit or kneesuit – this would be a great item to have as it will help to regulate your core temperature, especially if you go at cooler times of the day (morning or evening).

 

4. Swimming cap – this will help to stop your hair from getting too salty and dry.

 

5. Towels – taking a couple of large towels would be a good idea.

 

6. Swimming socks – unlike pools, you will be navigating pebbles and seaweed on entry/exit so having protection for your feet is a must.

 

7. Small dry bag – this is needed to put your wet swimming costume in after you change, which saves your car seats from getting soaked!

 

8. Flask and cups – because who doesn’t want a hot cup of tea to enjoy as the sun sets after your refreshing swim!?

 

 

Sea Swimming: Important Safety Information

 

Finally, we must warn you of important things to consider if you are to give sea swimming a go. Done safely, it really is amazing for your body and mind, but it doesn’t come without certain risks. So to enjoy a safe experience, please follow the guidelines below:

 

· Do not go far out of your depth – when fatigue kicks in, you will want to be in a zone that allows you to safely tread water back to shore.

 

· Take note of the currents and weather – understanding the direction of the current and any impending wind changes or rainstorms is crucial to ensuring you stay safe.

 

· Identify entry/exit points and coastline features – the current can be unexpectedly powerful, so knowing where the coast is rocky, and knowing where you will aim to get out is also an important element of your sea swimming experience.

 

We really hope you found this blog post insightful, and hope you’ll consider giving sea swimming a try sometime to feel the natural benefits it can give to your body.

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