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Why It's Time to Try Swimming in Open Water

And how to dive into the freedom, challenge, and discipline of 'wild swimming.'
Ryan Utsumi, 41, had been drenched in the turquoise blue and calm of southern California pools since he started swimming competitively at age five. “But in 2001, after 15 years of chlorine and coaches on the pool deck, I was done with all that,” he says.

Mileage ace Van Rouwendaal can no longer be fooled by a coach

Many photos of animals hang from the wall in her parents’ house in Eindhoven. Ducks especially. It is a memory of the childhood of swimmer Sharon van Rouwendaal (26) in France. Duck and Ducky were her best friends.

Van Rouwendaal has always been an outsider. The long-distance swimmer became Olympic champion in the 10 kilometers of open water at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Come on in: Norfolk’s wild swimmers explain the appeal of taking a dip in the river

While swimming pools have remained closed across the region, swimmers have turned to East Anglia’s network of rivers for their fix of water-based exercise. Nick Richards meets some of our wild swimmers

Lockdown has limited our freedom and liberty so much that exercise addicts have had to think on their feet. Cyclists ditched the roads for sessions on their turbo trainers in front of apps on their TV screens, rowers dusted off their rowing machines and runners pounded the treadmill rather than hit the pavements.

Swimming out of the darkness: How cold-water swimming helps with mental health

Literally and metaphorically, Frog and Jessie are emerging from the fog.

With the closures of the local pools under lockdown, following the black line was no longer an option.

So, the friends began swimming outdoors.

Jessie and Frog have known each other for years, but the early morning open-water swims have drawn them closer.

Best open water and wild swimming spots in and around London

Dive in, unwind and de-stress with a swim in the wild. 
You're burned out — but can’t turn to the usual pick-me-ups to get you through. Massages are off the cards until further notice and you can’t book a last-minute yoga retreat on the White Isle to quell jangling nerves. The answer? Take a wild dip. Swimming has plenty of fitness and meditative benefits but with pools still closed for now, the water babies among us have been left deprived.

How has COVID-19 affected English Channel swims this year?

Student Daniel Shailer has a Channel crossing booked for this year. He's been looking into how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Channel swimming this year.

Channel swimming is always unpredictable, and that has never been more true than this year. Government restrictions on unnecessary travel, social distancing and international travel forced all Channel swims in June to cancel and placed much of the rest of the season in jeopardy.

What’s ‘wild swimming’? The perfect antidote to cabin fever

The water may be cold but the health benefits keep these daring divers coming back.

Marianne Clark, a fitness and endurance coach, is a member of the oldest swimming club in Britain, located in Brighton. “The physical sensation of immersing yourself in cold water is a really life-affirming one,” she says. “I like the frisson of danger that comes with the sea, the fact that the water can be unpredictable. 

13 Reasons to Just Keep Swimming

Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, sidestroke, and freestyle — no matter how you take to the water, swimming is the perfect workout. It engages your body without murdering your joints. It’s also a killer form of cardio.

Get out your swimsuits, folks. Here are the top 13 benefits of swimming.

Wild Swimming for beginners

Why go ‘wild’ swimming

There is something slightly naughty, a little bit scary and wonderfully invigorating about leaving your wetsuit at home, and entering open water with just your skin (and perhaps a swimming costume) between you and the elements.
Freed from the thermal and neoprene protection of a wetsuit, cold water immersion provides a sense of elation and relaxation, soothes muscle aches, relieves depression and boosts the immune system. It’s also a fantastically convenient way to explore the countryside, with no kit to lug around.

Tales of the Riverbank

We have tides in the river here but we are not an estuary. Here we are above where the ocean tide meets the down-flowing stream. We are quite up the river, well away from the sea in a winding route. There is no tidal bore so the tide is backed-up river water, not brackish estuarine water. The salt tide pushes upstream, then the brackish tide pushes further up until it reaches Loneswimmer Tower, where the tide is all fresh water, but where, still, it is a tide, a mesotidal reach.

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