Starting with wild swimming? No better time than summer

Starting with wild swimming? No better time than summer

Is swimming with dolphins on your bucket list? Replace it with swimming among the ducks and you'll have it crossed off in no time. Swimming in natural waters gives you an enormous dopamine boost and there is no better time to start than in the summer.

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than a refreshing dive into ice-cold natural water. That first moment when the water feels like an ice bath, take a few deep breaths to get used to it, and once you get used to it, you feel a kind of relaxation move through your whole body. There is no other experience that comes close to that.

On a slightly chillier summer day, taking a dive in natural water is a little less appealing. Although the water is still the same temperature, about 16 to 20 degrees in summer, it feels a lot colder because of the milder temperature outside. But even then, or perhaps especially then, it is incredibly relaxing to swim in natural water. Because just that shock of the cold gives a huge dopamine boost. And once you're used to it, it's pure enjoyment.
Experienced practitioners of swimming in nature describe a sense of freedom. Besides having many health benefits, you feel at one with nature. Surrounded by trees, reeds and grass at the water's edge. Ducks, coots and dragonflies swim with you. With good weather, you can see the sun sparkling on the surface of the water and with rain, you can hear the drops gently tapping around you.

Be careful not to just jump straight into the water. In some places, for example, swimming is not allowed due to shipping or strong currents. Ideally, you want to swim in a place with clean water, so the chance of pathogens is small. And are you swimming in temperatures below 15 degrees? Then make sure you don't dive into the water all at once, but take it slowly, and don't stay in the water too long. For swimming in really cold water, think below 10 degrees, a general rule of thumb is to stay in the water no longer than 1 minute per degree.

The best thing about swimming in nature is that almost everyone has natural water nearby. Where do you jump into the lake, canal, river or sea?