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What Are The Health Benefits Of Wild Swimming?

Estate - 14.06.21

As more become conscious of their health and getting in touch with nature, wild swimming has risen in popularity over the last few years. Partly in thanks to coverage on TikTok, those young and old are realising that they’d like to give open water swimming a go. Wild swimming can be a euphoric experience when all the guidelines are followed correctly,  and did you know that there are actually plenty of physical and mental health benefits of wild swimming too? Below, we’ll talk about five of them.

5 Health Benefits Of Wild Swimming

Cold adaptation

Cold water swimming, especially when repeated over time, can provoke cold adaptation, an individual process that helps the body adjust to changing temperatures. NASA studies have shown that, over a 12-week period of cold water swimming, it is possible to…

  • Bring down blood pressure
  • Reduce cholesterol levels
  • Increase fertility
  • Inhibit blood clotting
  • Improve libido
  • Reduce fat disposition

Stepping into natural waters might be a surprise to the system initially, but your body will usually adapt quickly and get used to the change. To absorb some of the shock, we would recommend considering a wetsuit for your wild swimming adventures – especially as a beginner – as they can help to store some of your body heat. Whilst cold water swimming has prolific health benefits, you also need to ensure you don’t overwhelm your body too.

Happy hormones

Of the health benefits of wild swimming, not all are physical. Did you know that wild swimming can also positively impact your mental health? Swimming in the fresh open waters can release endorphins, which are also known as the happy hormones, as well as increase alertness and clarity. One of the wonders of wild swimming is reconnecting with, and feeling at one with nature; there are many ways in which being surrounded by nature is proven to support your mental wellbeing.

Better sleep

Back to the physical perks, did you know that one of the benefits of wild swimming can be a better night’s sleep? Being out in the open water can increase your prolactin levels, a hormone that influences sleep. Perhaps this is one of the reasons so many of our Combermere Abbey guests say they get such an excellent night’s sleep at our accommodation?

Meditative benefits

In a research article by Vogue, it was argued that “the meditative effect that swimming can have is not to be undervalued” by avid wild swimmer Matt Cunningham, performance specialist at Workshop Gymnasium London. Due to the necessity to focus on breathing techniques and focusing on your surroundings, wild swimming is a naturally meditative activity. Meditation in itself has a plethora of physical and mental health benefits including…

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Lengthened attention span
  • Improved sleep
  • Better weight loss focus
  • Increased focus and attentiveness.

Matt Cunningham adds that when wild swimming, “you are solely in the moment, focusing on your technique, timing, and breathing. That singular focus is especially healthy for us in modern society when we are constantly overstimulated by technology. The water is a space where we can fully disconnect.”

Health benefits of wild swimming

Improved physical health

Of course, wild swimming is a form of cardio exercise – it can help with weight loss, increased metabolism, improved mood and more. At Combermere Abbey, there are plenty of opportunities to exercise in nature, without even leaving the grounds. You can wild swim in the mere of course, or perhaps consider a stroll or bike around the woodlands, engage in a game or two of tennis or even enjoy a jog around the estate? Stays at Combermere are all about reconnecting with nature and enjoying everything that the Great British countryside has to offer.

Wild Swimming At Combermere Abbey

As our mere is a privately owned body of water, wild swimming is only available to Combermere Abbey guests staying in our holiday cottages or B&B and available all year round. Swim times are stated below, T&Cs apply, and guests are asked to bring a ‘swim buddy’ for safety reasons.

  • October – March, 10am – 4pm
  • April – September, 6am – 8pm

For short breaks at Combermere Abbey, you can check availability and book directly on our website.

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