"In a world where increasing pressures are born behind screens, it's easy to let problems manifest. German Triathlete, Liz Kellerer, takes us to the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands to show us how wild swimming can help lead to both a healthy body and mind."
Sea swimming is an important part of our culture and active lifestyle. We use it to take breaks during the working day, to start the day on a high or as a ritual to end the day. Here are a couple of benefits to sea swimming and the good that it does for body and soul.
- Finding a sense of community
Often the only thing that pushes us to get in is when we go for a sea swim together or with friends. This sense of camaraderie helps push us forward into the icy water. Having a healthy activity that you can participate in with friends and family is an excellent way to build strong relationships and become closer to those around you. You will be surprised who you can meet in the sea.
- Building an harmony with nature
We take our natural ecosystems for granted. We cause harm to nature and hardly spend any time to reflect and immerse ourselves in it. Modern life often gets between us and nature. We spend are time working on screen, browsing feeds and watching TV. These artificial influences distract us from interacting with nature, an environment that our minds and bodies instinctually crave.
"The thing that motivates you to get out and do these things, especially in the depths of winter when its dark outside is you know good you are going to feel afterwards and it just sets the tempo for the day" - James Aiken
- Mental health benefits
Research suggests that swimming outdoors in cold water is particularly good for us. There are plenty of different aspects of cold water swimming that have a positive psychological effect on the brain. You can read them in detail here, but for us it's the mindfulness of sea swimming that affects us the most.
Taking your warm clothes off as you stand on the cold concrete before jumping in is the biggest battle of the whole ordeal. The shock of entering cold water, the element of risk and the awe-inspiring response to immersing yourself in nature, combine to provide us with the ability to become present whilst wild swimming. We focus on our breathing, on feeling the adrenaline and cold spreading across our bodies. Whilst we are focusing on all of these things, we experience a connection between body and mind, where the two are working synonymously and bringing us into the present moment.
- Physical health benefits
Swimming is a great form of exercise for all ages. It's good training for cardio and building swimming endurance. Suspension in water helps to alleviate stress put on bones and muscles during other forms of exercise and is an excellent full body work out.