Are you looking for a new challenge or way to invigorate your swimming? Do you crave being outdoors and immersed in nature? If so, then more open water swimming may the solution to what you need.
This blog post will discuss the top 10 reasons open water swimming is such a great way to diversify your training and fitness. We will also provide tips on getting started if you are new to it all. Learn more about the basics of open water swimming and why you should incorporate more open-water in your swim training into your routine.
Open Water Swimming 101
Open water swimming involves any outdoor body of water that is not a pool. This can include lakes, oceans, rivers, and large ponds. The key distinguishing factor between open water and pools is that open water is usually significantly larger and therefore has different weather and water conditions that you must account for.
These potential hazards can include things like tides, currents, waves, and water temperature changes. Because of these conditions, open-water swimming often requires more endurance and stamina than swimming in a pool, as well as taking the right precautions. But with a good swimming wetsuit that has thermal properties, you can enjoy a longer season of swimming outdoors.
10 Reasons to Choose Open Water Over Pool Swimming
Now, let’s examine why you should opt for open water swimming over pool swimming whenever possible.
1. Open Space
One of the best things about open-water swimming is that it takes place in open water! This means that no lane lines or walls are confining you to a small space. You can swim in any direction and cover a lot more distance than in a pool. This can be great for those who get bored easily with laps or want to explore their surroundings.
2. A Great Workout
Another great reason to try open-water swimming is excellent for the body in so many ways. Because you are swimming in larger bodies of water, you must work harder to move through the water. This resistance training can lead to increased muscle strength and endurance. In addition, because you are covering more distance in open water, you will also get a great cardio workout. This is a great way to improve your overall fitness level.
3. Improved Mental Health
Besides the physical benefits, open-water swimming can improve mental health. Swimming in open water has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. This is likely due to the combination of exercise and being in nature. So if you want to improve your mental health, open-water swimming may be a great option!
4. Opportunities to Explore
Another great thing about open-water swimming is that it provides opportunities to explore. If you are swimming in a lake or river, you can explore different areas you would not be able to see from the shore. This can be a great way to see new places and get some exercise at the same time!
5. Wildlife Encounters
In addition to exploring your surroundings, you may also have the opportunity to encounter wildlife during open-water swimming. This can be a great way to get up close and personal with nature. Of course, you should always be cautious when swimming in wildlife areas and follow all safety guidelines.
6. Blood Circulation
Open-water swimming can also lead to improved blood circulation. This is due to the resistance of the water, which forces your heart to work harder. This can lead to better circulation and a lower resting heart rate.
7. Improved Sleep
In addition to improved circulation, open-water swimming can improve sleep. This is likely due to the combination of exercise and being in nature. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, and being in nature has also been linked with better sleep. So if you want to improve your sleep, open-water swimming may be a great option!
8. A Great Way to Meet People
Open-water swimming can also be a great way to meet people. If you join a local swimming group or club, you will have the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals. This can be a great way to make new friends and find others to swim with.
9. Better Metabolism
Besides other health benefits, open-water swimming can lead to better metabolism. This is due to the combination of exercise and being in nature. Exercise has been shown to improve metabolism, and being in nature has also been linked to better metabolism. So if you want to boost your metabolism, open-water swimming may be a great option!
10. A Sense of Accomplishment
Finally, open-water swimming can provide a great sense of accomplishment. Because it is often more challenging than pool swimming, completing a long open-water swim can be a great way to boost your confidence. It is also a great goal to set for yourself if you are looking for a challenge.
Important Swiming Skills to Master for Open Waters
After these reasons, let’s check some important skills you must master. They are:
One of the most important skills to master when swimming in open water is treading water. Treading water is a great way to rest or slow down if you need to. It is also a valuable skill if you find yourself in a situation where you must swim for an extended period.
In addition to treading water, another important skill to master is floating. Floating can be a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery. It can also be helpful if you need to conserve energy or stay warm.
Swimming With a Partner
If swimming in open water, it is always best to swim with a partner. This way, you can help each other if there is an emergency. It is also important to have someone with you so you can stay on course and not get lost.
Calming Down If You Get panicked
It is important to stay calm if you are in a situation where you start to panic. The best way to do this is to focus on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths and try to relax. Remember that most open-water swimming incidents are not serious and can be easily resolved.
The Bottom Line
Open-water swimming is a great way to exercise, explore your surroundings, and meet new people. It can also lead to improved mental and physical health. So if you want a new activity to try, open-water swimming may be a great option! For more info, check out this open-water swimming guide for beginners.
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Endurance athlete, professional off-road cyclist, and avid blogger, Tyler Tafelsky participates in long-course multisport and cycling events. Today, Tyler competes in ultra-distance cycling races at the professional level. Since starting Better Triathlete in 2014, he has been the head of content for the site's editorial team. Learn more about Tyler