LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Swimming for better mental health
Today is World Mental Health Day. 2020 has been a difficult year for everybody but one positive has been the number of new swimmers enjoying the open water. Now, as we go into autumn and winter, many people are choosing to keep swimming through the seasons, curious about the mental health benefits of plunging in cold water. I have struggled with depression and anxiety and find that outdoor exercise and in particular
cold water swimming help me when I am feeling low. This year will be my tenth year of winter swimming – it has become part of the rhythm of my life, my coping strategy for the dark days of winter. Camaraderie, exercise and being outdoors are all proven to help with mental health – and cold water swimming offers all three.
In today's newsletter, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, I have collected articles related to mental health and cold water swimming: from how to get started to how it will make your body feel; from personal stories to scientific research; and we look at the kit you might need – from neoprene hats to axes and hot water bottles.These articles and more are also available to read in the Cold Water Swimming section of our website.
If you have any questions about cold water swimming, please feel free to ask by replying to this email. It's good to talk.
The mental health benefits of cold water swimming
Rowan Clark explores the feel-good factor around taking a dip in cold water.
3 reasons why you should keep swimming through winter – and how to do it
John Coningham-Rolls, vice president of the International Winter Swimming Association, explains how to safely swim all year round.
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"Training to swim the English Channel has given me a new lease of life"
Before swimming the English Channel, Lee Brogan was struggling with his mental health. Training for it gave him the time he needed to get better.
5 things you need for cold water swimming
And 6 things you never knew you needed.
Swimming in cold water - a guide to temperature
How does cold water feel and what does it do to your body?
Cold water swimming: your questions answered
A scientific perspective on cold water swimming by our panel of experts:
E Jane Turner, Mike Tipton, Mark Harper, Kate Steels, Ruth Williamson and Heather Massey.
Wild days and wild swims
Ice swimmer Gilly McArthur on better mental health through exercise, swimming every day in January and walking round the supermarket with an axe in her pocket.