A cold water swim may seem challenging at first. Read easy tips for starting cold water swimming and your whole body will thank you.

Cold water swimming is an old natural healing method.

Sometimes all you need is to be inspired, hence I want to share with you my cold water swimming story, perhaps you will be inspired to try it out yourself.

 

I had heard a lot of positive things about cold water swimming and it´s overall benefits to health and well-being. People who swim in cold water regularly have reported it reduces their aches, pains and respiratory infections. These effects in themselves had piqued my interest. Cold exposure is also said to remove stress and improve the quality of sleep, i.e. exactly what I crave in hectic everyday life, as a counterbalance to everyday stress. I know that cold water swimming is an old natural healing method and it is great that it is still used as a means of self-care.

 

During the first Covid-19 lockdown in Finland I decided to finally give cold water swimming a try. I also inspired my daughters, then 10 and 7 to try. 

Preparation for cold water swimming

I knew that cold would be a challenge for me at first so I wanted to make it as comfortable experience as possible. Preparations played an important role on that. I changed into my bathing suit already at home, put on my first sample of a long towel-like outfit KAFTAN(EN) along with a hat of wool, a pair of UGG boots and a warm sweater. Dressed like that, we drove down to a pier and beach close by where we live and where there is a community of cold water swimmers. 

 

Like I thought, after dipping into the sea, KAFTAN(EN) was the perfect cover for getting the cold and wet bathing suit off in ‘privacy’ whilst also drying me quickly. Also I personally recommend to use both water gloves and socks around this time of the year so it’s not so terrifyingly cold. Also use a knit hat that warms your head. Focus on your breathing and keep calm, breathing technique is key in cold water swimming.

 

I did not expect the cold water to have such a huge positive effect on me, even though I had read about the greatness of it. It is all true, I can vouch for that. The feeling you have after cold water swimming is amazing, it’s a real energy booster.

A ritual my body needs

Cold water swimming is my holy moment and my weekend morning ritual (I physically long for my swim), the colder the water and the greyer the weather the better.

 

If you think that a dressing room and a warm sauna are necessary elements for cold water swimming you are wrong. The place where I and many other keen cold water swimmers gather has neither.

Your body will thank you and you will enjoy it, I promise.

 

Pia Knoester

Founder of Helgabad

 

p.s If you decide to give it a try; a) read in on what to do and what not to do, here are some useful links in English 

https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/how-to-acclimatise-to-cold-water/

https://www.breathemagazine.com/2018/06/07/cold-water-swimming/