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Cold water swimming is not only an exhilarating and enjoyable activity but also offers a range of remarkable health advantages. You might be wondering how subjecting yourself to icy waters could be beneficial, but trust us; the benefits are numerous! Plus, we've sought out the best spots for chilly dips near our pubs.


Many avid swimmers have embraced cold water swimming during the colder months for its potential health perks. If you're hesitating to take the plunge into open waters, consider the compelling reasons to try cold water swimming for the betterment of your mental and physical well-being.

Enhances Immune Function

Numerous studies have underscored the remarkable effects of cold water on the immune system. When you immerse yourself in cold water, your body temperature drops significantly, prompting your white blood cells to spring into action. This plunge in temperature boosts your white blood cell count, bolstering your immune system's resilience. An adaptable immune system is better equipped to fend off illnesses, which is why avid cold water swimmers tend to stay healthier.

Elevates Mood Through Endorphin Release

Cold water swimming triggers the release of those "feel-good" hormones known as endorphins.

These endorphins enhance your overall sense of well-being and happiness. You might wonder how braving the discomfort of cold wate

r can make you feel happier, but it's the endorphins that come to the rescue. They are released in response to discomfort, making it more tolerable. So, if you find yourself pushing through the initial discomfort of cold water, you'll be rewarded with an improved mood. The shockingly cold water prompts your body to produce even more endorphins, adding to the experience's appeal.

Boosts Metabolism and Aids Weight Loss

Cold water swimming can aid in weight loss by revving up your metabolism. As your body temperature drops in response to the cold water, your heart rate increases to keep you warm, resulting in calorie burning. Scientific research consistently demonstrates that you burn more calories while swimming in cold water compared to warm water. Outdoor swims in glacial lakes or rivers can help you shed pounds more effectively than swimming in an indoor heated pool. Just remember to fuel your body and curb your hunger, avoiding swimming on an empty stomach. An added bonus is that outdoor swimming is often free, eliminating the need for a costly leisure centre membership.

Eases Menopause Symptoms

Menopause often brings unpleasant symptoms like headaches, anxiety, reduced libido, memory loss, and hot flashes. While we've already discussed how cold water therapy can boost libido and reduce anxiety, it's worth noting that cold water immersion can also alleviate migraines. Women experiencing menopause have reported significant improvements in their lives after regular cold water dips. If you're struggling with menopause symptoms, consider reading further on this topic.

Improves Circulation

Cold water swimming can significantly enhance circulation by forcing blood to the surface of your veins, capillaries, and arteries. While it might be daunting initially, your body gradually adapts to the cold, reducing the discomfort over time. Improved circulation is beneficial for people of all ages, especially during the colder months. Coping with harsh winters becomes easier and less of a health risk. We encourage individuals of any age to explore wild water swimming due to its undeniable health benefits.

A Full-Body Workout

Whether you prefer a leisurely dip or an intense workout, cold water swimming offers versatility. Many swimmers opt for open lakes, rivers, or the sea to exert energy and warm up in cold water. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that enhances endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It helps you shed excess weight, build tone, and elevate overall body health. All this while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow adventure seekers. If you're concerned about cold water shock, consider investing in a wetsuit. We can provide tips and tricks for wetsuit maintenance to make your experience more enjoyable.


Open water swimming is gaining popularity across all age groups, as people discover the allure of taking a dip in colder, polar regions. Whether you're seeking to improve your health or simply testing your courage, cold water swimming is a rewarding hobby.

Always prioritise safety measures when venturing into ice-cold waters, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.



After a spot of lunch at The Rupert Brooke, make your way along the River Cam to find your ideal wild swimming spot with multiple opportunities to take a dip along the 2km stretch of river by Grantchester Meadows.


Nod to the grazing cows as you bob by in the River Waveney. This stretch of water, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border at Outney Common has good water quality and is up to 2m deep at points. A popular spot for canoeists too!


If you're new to cold water swimming we'd recommend heading to Hadleigh Country Park for your first experience. The lake comprises of 380m of swimming length, but with lifegaurds on duty and NOWCA wristbands it make swimming at this location safe.


The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a must-visit when staying in one of our country pubs, The Crown, from visiting the Alfred Munnings museum to exploring footpaths near Flatford Mill. If you want to feel even more in-touch with Constable Country, you can float around in the River Stour between Dedham and Flatford.


Two images were sourced from the below articles and credited to them:


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