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Archive for the ‘cold water swimming’ Category

Winter swimmers in the Czech Republic

Time reports: Czech Seniors Stay Young by Plunging Into Freezing Cold Rivers

Among the most hardy of all the cold water swimmers is the group of pensioners who meet twice a week, whatever the weather, throughout the year in an old railway wagon at the bank of the Labe River in Pardubice, near a section of the river where the water is less than 20 meters deep.

For these senior citizens, some of whom are in their late eighties, plunging into freezing temperatures has its benefits. “Cold water swimming is as much a challenge as it is a health strategy,” Radek Kalhous, a photographer who has been capturing candid images of the swimmers, told TIME. ” It improves heart activity, vessel elasticity and the immune system in general.”

According to Kalhouse, the pensioners who swim in the Labe are hardly ever ill. “They are brimming with energy and optimism,” he said. “Local clubs are full of friends and the community is still growing. Cold water swimming is not just sport for them. It’s their lifestyle.”

According to Kalhouse, the pensioners who swim in the Labe are hardly ever ill. “They are brimming with energy and optimism,” he said. “Local clubs are full of friends and the community is still growing. Cold water swimming is not just sport for them. It’s their lifestyle.” More…

Discover where you can swim in Prague:

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The Guardian reports: “Get in the water, get your shoulders under.”

A day of cold blue therapy. Where volunteer marshals lined up more than 700 competitors for 114 races at intervals timed to the second. “Get in the water, get your shoulders under,” they said briskly and everyone did, briskly. More…

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The Telegraph reports:  A”nanny state” council are trying to stop Christmas bathers from having a festive dip due to health and safety concerns by taping off parts of a beach. Every year hundreds of swimmers jump in the sea on Christmas morning, but the local council want to put an end to the tradition. Brighton and Hove City Council in East Sussex announced it will take measures to try and prevent one of the city’s most famous Christmas traditions over fears swimmers will get hypothermia.

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Chris Ingall, seafront operations manager for Brighton City Council, said: “The continuing mild weather has meant that, as with last year, the seafront has been much busier than in previous winters.

“It’s been great to see so many people enjoying a stroll on the promenade and its good news for seafront businesses, but we would ask people to stay on the path or high up on the beach, especially when the sea conditions are rough.

“Sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers and should only be for the very experienced, using suitable wetsuits, in very calm conditions and with a friend.

“Even on a calm day sea currents, undertow or a sudden change in weather can create life threatening hazards without warning. Even experienced swimmers can get caught out.”

Compair attitudes here with those in Switzerland

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The Bulletin reports: Wild and wet: Where to find the best natural swimming spots in Belgium. Fans of wild swimming need to head out of the capital to enjoy the pleasure of cool, non-chlorinated water.

Recreation Park De Ster

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Blaarmeersen

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Robertville-les-Bains

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Grand Large, Mons
For the first time in many years, swimming will be authorised at the city’s lake this summer. Up to now bathing has been forbidden due to the danger of passing boats and barges. Extensive facilities at the site include a marina, renovated club house and indoor and outdoor pools. Alternatively, one of the best places for freshwater swimming in Hainaut province is Godarville lake at Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont, between Charleroi and La Louvière. Part of the Claire-Fontaines domain and relaxation centre, it offers a range of water sports and is a paradisiacal spot when the sun shines. Both sites are accessible by public transport.

Bloso Domein Hofstade

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SWIM SMART

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ITV News reports: “The mother of a fourteen year old who died while swimming with friends in the River Wear is backing a new water safety campaign. Cameron Gosling suffered a ‘shock reaction’ after jumping into the river near Bishop Auckland last summer. His mother Fiona has joined the campaign ‘Dying to be Cool’ which is being launched by the council and emergency services to make teenagers aware that cold water shock kills.”

Cameron’s friends had paddled in the water before swimming but he jumped straight in and his body went into shock as a result of the sudden change in temperature. Had he known of the dangers of cold water shock, we might not have lost a loving son and friend.

– Fiona, Cameron Gosling’s mother
Sadly the campaign poster focuses on staying out of rivers lakes and reservoirs rather than on the need to acclimatize. No mention is made of cold sea water.
Please see Swim Smart

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The Daily Post reports: When snow envelops the Welsh mountains, and ice forms across upland lakes, most people would pull their coat collars a little tighter and head inside for warmth.

Vivienne’s swimming obsession, which began in childhood and endured into adult life, has now been documented by the Eyes & Ears group of filmmakers from London.

For their beautifully shot short film, called Afterglow, they followed her for three days to capture the essence of wild swimming in Snowdonia’s frigid lakes, from snowy Llyn Idwal to serene Llyn Padarn.

“Vivienne is remarkable,” said director Tommaso Di Paola. “She was shivering for about three hours afterwards. Did I go in? No, but now I wish I had.” Watch Now…

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The Guardian reports: You think it’s cold out? Try going to Tampere, Finland, where temperatures can hit -25C in winter (-5C is considered a warm day). Now hold that thought – and imagine going for a swim in a frozen lake in those conditions. This is what locals in this inland city like to do each day, warming up in a sauna before taking a dip in breathtakingly cold water. Finnish born photographer Markku Lahdesmaki spent some time documenting this magical ritual at one of the lakes near Tampere; producing a short film that captures people of all ages calmly stepping into the hole in the ice. Far too casually in our minds. With winter swimming festivals happening around the world right now, this lot truly are an inspiration. 

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