There are many outdoor activities you can try, but none are as invigorating, fun, and challenging as wild swimming. Wild swimming is essentially any type of swimming in a natural body of water – not a man-made pool. This could be a lake, a river, or the open sea – whatever takes your fancy!

In the UK, we are surrounded by water, and our Islands are also bursting with some gorgeous lakes and rivers that are perfect locations for wild swimming. Here in Cornwall, it is a popular activity that many people enjoy on a daily basis.

Sure, it’s cold, but it’s also exhilarating! In addition, as you will see below, wild swimming provides a host of benefits for your health and mental wellbeing. To show what you could gain from this activity, we have outlined 10 benefits of wild swimming below:

1. Improve your swimming skills

Obviously, wild swimming like any swimming activity will help improve your basic swimming skills. You will ultimately learn quicker too, as you are swimming in unpredictable conditions and will need greater strength and endurance to tackle the natural water.

2. Build muscle strength

Wild swimming also helps build muscle strength. It is well-known that swimming is great for toning and improving a wide range of muscles. This includes your legs, arms, and core body muscles. As a byproduct, you may also lose weight from wild swimming.

3. Improve your conditioning and endurance

When swimming in rivers, lakes, or even the open sea, your natural conditioning and endurance will also improve. The more you swim, the fitter you should become. These effects are great than indoor swimming also, as you are often fighting against currents and colder conditions which pushes your body harder.

4. Can boost mental health

Wild swimming is also fantastic for mental health. Doing something challenging like wild swimming is an amazing confidence booster and gives you a great sense of exhilaration and achievement. Doing this regularly can help improve your mental health and instil a positive outlook.

5. Boosts your blood circulation

Blood circulation is important for our health. We need a constant and smooth blood flow throughout our body to work and live effectively. The cold conditions of wild swimming will force your body to pump blood at an increased rate. As a result, over time, your blood circulation will naturally improve.

6. Can improve your immune system

It may not feel like it as you plunge into the fresh icy water, but wild swimming can also boost your immune system over time. There has been research that has shown those who regularly swim in cold water have a greatly increased white blood cell count – white blood cells are part of our immune system and the primary defence against sickness and disease.

7. Boosts your appreciation of nature

Swimming indoors isn’t really inspiring let’s face it. Alternatively, swimming in a lake surrounded by an epic landscape, or swimming down a gorgeous river is amazing. Swimming outdoors allows you to appreciate nature and bask in the beauty of our world.

8. Allows you to explore new places

When swimming in a made-made pool, you can’t exactly explore anywhere new. Sure, you might swim in a new pool, but this isn’t particularly interesting. Wild swimming, however, allows you to go far and wide and explore so many new places.

For example, you could swim down a river and find a range of quiet spots on the way filled with gorgeous landscapes and nature.

9. Gives you a challenge

Wild swimming also provides the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself. You may, for example, be a competent swimmer. But could you tackle swimming outdoors in cold conditions? Wild swimming pushes you further than you could imagine and can be an amazing challenge.

It can help you learn more about yourself and also allow you to test your limits to see what you are truly capable of.

10. Can help reduce inflammation and aches

Finally, wild swimming works as a natural anti-inflammatory. Immersion in cold water can help reduce inflammation, and it also helps soothe aches and pains. If you live an active life or suffer from regular aches and pains, wild swimming could be a great way to reduce those pains and live a healthier life without negative consequences.

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