Take the plunge, feel good
Our sea swimming guru Salim from Swimlab who leads St Michaels Wild Swimming Retreats talks through the benefits of sea swimming.
We probably all know someone who swears by their dips in the sea in all conditions. Come to Falmouth on any given day and you'll observe a procession of bold women and men of all ages swimming the sheltered (and bracing) waters off Gylly Beach, which lies at the foot of St Michaels Resort gardens.
The benefits of regular sea dips have been talked, written, sung and shouted about forever. But you don't have to be a hardy, uber-resilient person to join in. Sea swimming offers incredible benefits to mind and body. Here are 10 reasons why sea swimming could be the best thing you try this year.
1. Swimming in itself works all the major muscle groups of the body. Now add a gentle sea current or two and you have an enhanced workout without realising.
2. It's outside - There are the endorphin and dopamine rushes to start with. Just being outside exaggerates the normal mood benefits to exercise.
3. The Sense of flight - One thing I have always talked about in my coaching, is the importance and value of connecting with water. Water is after all the most natural sources and supporters of life on this planet. We and the planet are mainly made up of it for starters. So immersing yourself in it and learning to be comfortable is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Swimming can be the closest sensation to flight that a human can experience. Remember water is not much more than thicker air! The sea with its vastness and currents can accentuate that sensation.
4. The salt water is good for the skin. Just check out how extensively salt water figures in the St Michaels Spa experiences and treatments, with salt scrubs, salt-water steam and seasalt minerals a huge part of the options available.
5. Seawater gives you buoyancy. So by harnessing this, you can arguably swim better.
6. Seawater is associated with negatively charged ions. These are known to be mood enhancers.
7. Vitamin D - Back to being outside.
8. Circulation and heart - The water does not have to be arctic to bestow benefits by being immersed and moving in it. Swimming rhythmically (as opposed to just having a dip) works wonders for your circulation and heart.
9. Depression - The combination of many of the above factors have been proven in recent studies to be highly instrumental in managing depression.
10. Dementia - The combination of being outdoors, the cooler temperature, the need for slightly more controlled breathing, the current etc have all been proven in recent studies to help in the treatment and prevention of dementia.
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