Swimming is a great and fun way to get some physical activity, but it becomes an even more rewarding experience when you take it outdoors. There’s nothing quite like being out there in the open with the beauty of nature as you traverse the water. It can be a relaxing swim or a challenging one, but it’s always an enjoyable activity to do with a group.
If you’re looking to do some open water swimming, this guide will go through what you need to bring, safety tips, and the benefits you can get from the activity.
What Are the Benefits of Outdoor Swimming?
Swimming itself has many benefits for your well-being. It can alleviate pain, build endurance, improve your cardiovascular health, and even increase muscle strength. It’s also a great way to build up your lung capacity.
In terms of swimming out in the open, you can lessen your stress hormones as you are exposed to nature. The temperature of the water can help regulate your body temperature and train your body over time to manage colder temperatures better. It’s also excellent for boosting your immune system and helping to increase your range of movement.
Swimming in the right locations can also open you up to new experiences that help you learn more about nature, biodiversity, and other cultures. Even if you’re not necessarily looking for an educational trip, you’ll be able to bask in the beauty that the world has to offer.
What Safety Precautions Should I Take?
Of course, it’s important to follow safety precautions when you go for a swim. This rings especially true if you’re going in wild waters with unprecedented risks. Make sure you follow these guidelines:
- Always check the state of water before jumping in. See if there are any weather issues coming your way, and assess the current and flow of the water.
- Make sure you know where you can enter and exit in case of an emergency.
- Avoid swimming alone. Even if you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, it’s essential to have someone know your location and be ready to assist.
- Dress appropriately. Wearing the wrong apparel for your swim can hinder you and not only make things uncomfortable but even pose a risk.
- Check for hazards in the area before you jump in.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. The last thing you want is to run out of stamina when you need it most. Don’t stay in too long or go deeper than your ability. As a general rule, beginners should allow one minute per degree of water.
What Do I Need to Bring for Outdoor Swimming?
If you’re going on a trip and you’re going farther out to swim, there are some essentials you must bring:
- Outdoor swimwear
- Outdoor footwear that is good for swimming
- Towels, preferably compact microfibre
- Goggles and a swim cap
- Safety float
- Small and lightweight snacks and drinking water
- First aid kit and sun protection
- Small waterproof head torch
- A GPS device and compass
- A kayak dry bag to store all your gear safely
If you’ve never tried outdoor swimming before, it’s always a great time to start! The experience is something unmatched by pools and the like. If you’re hesitant or want to try some less turbulent waters, then simply make sure you go with an experienced group. As long as you follow the tips above, you should be able to make the most out of your open water swimming adventure.
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