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  • Writer's pictureMair

Wild Swimming: Your Doorstep Oasis

Have you ever tried wild swimming in Wales?

I really think it is nature’s tonic – a way to unwind, reset with some great health benefits too.

Some say it can be meditative, whilst others focus on other benefits such as the reduction of inflammation, cortisol levels (stress) and the ability to connect us all closer with nature.

Even though it’s the beginning of Autumn, I thought I’d make the most of these warmer days to take a plunge into the wild welsh waters and get back to some wild swimming. And I must say I’ve missed it.

We gripped our toes into the grassy bank and lowered ourselves down to the river. The shock of the cold water doesn’t get easier, but the fresh water has a way to bring you into the present moment, and for a second I concentrated on my breathing as I swam up stream. I felt free, refreshed and recharged with a new wave of energy.

In a world where we are always rushed off our feet, busy and thinking about he the next thing- the water is a place where you can fully disconnect. I believe it is a great way to clear your head, re-focus and treat your body to a cool detox.

I read about a study once which claims that wild swimming can actively boost levels of happy hormones in our bodies too. By immersing yourself into cold water, it can boost dopamine levels and have long lasting effects. Another study also found that the benefits last once you leave the water, giving you a ‘post swim high’. It can also benefit the system in your body which is responsible for appetite, memory and psychological processes which I found really interesting. (If anyone would like to read the papers – give me a message and I’ll try and track it down for you!).

Remember - there are always some considerations when going swimming in wild water – these include checking for blue-green algae, keeping in your depth, knowing how to get out, keeping warm clothes close by and never swimming in canals, or stagnant water.

Keep safe and happy swimming!

Follow my latest adventures on Instagram @waleswithmair

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