Swimming in open water, in the natural water sources that are all around the UK is something that has become more popular in recent years but is not a new activity by any means. From swimming in the sea around the coastline to inland lakes, many people enjoy the experience of wild swimming as it is often known – for exercise and to enjoy the natural world. It is great. However, if it is something that you are considering getting into, it is important first of all to ensure that you are well informed and safe when doing this. Here are some of the things to think about before you head to your local lake or beach and dive in…
Be aware of the tides and the currents. These can be dangerous and unpredictable, and even the most experienced swimmers can get into dangerous situations caused by these, so take some time to find out about them. Tides are usually found in the sea but be aware that they can also affect some rivers, like the River Severn. Currents are another big danger in rivers, where if you are caught up in one you could be dragged under or pulled down the river. If you know anyone who swims there regularly it is good to get advice from them, and of course always let someone know where you are going.
Swimming out in the wild is not the same as swimming in a pool. There are many more dangers and obstacles to overcome, and it should only be attempted by strong and competent swimmers. Children in particular can be harmed or even killed when swimming in natural bodies of water, so it is wise to make sure that your children have had professional swimming lessons like these Liverpool children’s swimming classes https://www.swim.co.uk/baby/venues/liverpool-south
The temperature of the water outdoors can be variable but is more than likely to be quite chilly most of the year! Swimming in water this cold requires skill and experience, so it is not something that you should just go ahead and do. Getting into water that is cold can cause shock and if you suffer from a heart condition or hypertension can also be dangerous. It is advised that if you are swimming in cold water that you wear a wetsuit and enter the water slowly so that you acclimatise to it.