Archive for the ‘Czech Republic’ 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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Alfred Nikodém Memorial, photo: CTK

Radio Praha reports: “In other countries people wade into the water and come out fairly quickly but here we train and harden our bodies to withstand the cold. When Finland hosted a world championship in cold water swimming some years ago participants raced on a 25 meter track. When we have races here the shortest track is 100 meters – that’s for beginners. Most of us swim 750 meters or a kilometre.”

Photo: CTK

 Vladimír Komárek says that he knows from experience that it takes about two years to establish a strong commitment. Some people give up after one season, but after two years they are generally hooked. “I now swim twice a week for 20 minutes -in all kinds of weather. I feel that that’s just about right. Every day would be exhausting and twice is enough to keep me in shape. The coldest I’ve ever swam is in minus 19 degrees Celsius. Of course, you have to break the ice first. And I stayed in for just 15 minutes, but it was well worth it. It is something that sticks in your mind because it is not something that you do often or even every winter.”

Alfred Nikodém Memorial, photo: CTK

People who have built up their resilience to the cold will generally tell you they can’t do without it anymore, never get sick and generally feel much more energized. What they will rarely tell you is the amount of pain which most of them have to overcome from time to time. More…

Discover wild swimming in cold water…

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Czech Swimming Lakes
Czech Swimming Lakes

Summer, sun, water, bathing, swimming, sport, fun, slides and other attractions, excitement, concerts – These words all describe what awaits you at the best swimming lakes in the Czech Republic. Warm weather and the onset of the holidays are a signal it’s time you should head off for a break! More…

With the hot weather of 2013 perhaps the UK could do with a few more official bathing places. There are more than 1,900 EU designated inland bathing waters in Germany, more than 1,300 in France, yet just 12 in the UK. Why is it that in England the outdoor swimmer has been hung out to dry? How can it be that despite banning swimming in rivers and lakes we still seem to experience roughly the same rate of drowning as the rest of Europe? More…

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The suggestion that we might go swimming in a reservoir raises alarm in the minds of many. The water will be too cold, too deep and, well it just sounds too dangerous, yet finally we are reconsidering our prejudice towards open water or wild swimmers. It is hoped that a bathing beach will appear at Rutland Water reservoir next spring, a giant leap forward for the UK but nothing that unusual when compared with the rest of Europe.

For Example take the Czech Republic which has no coastline but offers many possibilities for enjoying the water. The grassy or sandy banks of natural swimming areas, such as the reservoirs of Slapy, Orlík, Lipno or the popular LakeMácha (Máchovo jezero), are inviting places of relaxation.

Wild Swimming at Sand Lake Lhota

Sand Lake Lhota

Natural swimming areas have their unique atmosphere. You can rent a rowboat or pedal-boat; in summer, the lake-sides are lined with stands offering both souvenirs and refreshments. Parents know well that the true moment of relaxation comes when the children are swimming and they have a quiet moment to enjoy a pint of fine Bohemian lager and a well-fried potato pancake. More…

Wild Swimming at Machovo Lake Free Entry

Machovo Lake Free Entry

The British brought and end to centuries long religious prejudice towards swimming and bathing, led the world as a swimming nation only then blew the whistle on open water swimming and restricted swimmers to indoor pools. Would you like to know why? Read: Hung Out to Dry…

“A persuasive book… intriguing from the outset, a fascinating chronology of British swimming which goes much deeper than one might expect. Well researched and interestingly written… the historical ebb and flow of swimming popularity is quite remarkable.” November 2012 Swimming Times


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