When stuck in the city over Summer we like to daydream about swimming in secret lakes, paddling through rocky underwater caves and bathing in the revitalising waters of a natural waterfall. This month, Kate Rew's 'Wild Swim' topped our reading list, reaffirming why this ancient practise is not only a great way to enjoy the warmer weather - but a therapeutic ritual that nourishes mind, body and soul. Did you know that the therapeutic properties of sea-salt water bathing, a ritual popular in Europe in the 1800’s, saw people relying on the healing properties of wild waters as a remedy for all sorts of ailments? One branch of evolutionary theory even suggests that being by and in water is at the core of the human condition.
As the ocean is known to contain all the vital elements, vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements and amino acids our body requires, a regular dip in its salty waters is not only great for cooling us down, boosting the immune system and getting blood pumping - it also allows us to absorb all the living nutrients present in salt water. One example of this is in the magnesium content seawater contains - known to induce a calming effect on our nervous system, contributing to the restorative and relaxing feeling you get after an ocean water swim.
So whether you choose to go wild for wellbeing purposes or simply as a way to cool down this Summer - grab your guide of choice and dive deep. (For the UK 'Wild Swim' is our pick of the pack, or if you seek to fulfill your wildest water wishes outside of the UK then the Wild Swimming series by Daniel Start will have you covered)Five tips for Going Wild
- Take along a swimming buddy: When it comes to wild swimming - safety always is the first thing to consider before taking the plunge. Whilst the books we have suggested provide the safest watering holes to enjoy - we know that sometimes a sporadic swim in an idyllic location off the map can be too tempting to resist. This is when taking a buddy along is key - this way one of you can test the waters whilst the other casts a protective eye before both enjoying a safe swim.
- Do your research: If you're keen to swim wild on holiday but not sure where to begin ask the locals. If you're lucky they may let you in on some secret spots for you to seek out!
- Go exploring: Whilst many lakes and rivers contain designated swimming areas, for something a little more secluded follow the river bankside until you find a suitable spot. Make sure to test for depth and water pressure and never swim alone - remember, when wild swimming safety always comes first!
- Keep warm: As wild waters tend to be on the colder side, it’s important to be hot before you swim and be able to warm up quickly after you come out. The best way to do so is to hike to your destination so by the time you arrive you're more than ready to take the plunge! After swimming warm up with some star jumps, sun salutations and some warm clothes .
- Be prepared: Preparation really is key to make the most out of your wild swimming experience. Always make sure to bring a light weight towel, a picnic rug, a natural bug repellant, a natural sun lotion, warm clothes and a hat!
Can’t escape this Summer? Check out our guide to create a bathing ritual at home