• Health & Fitness

How to continue swimming into the colder months

The cooler months are upon us but that doesn’t mean we have to stop swimming. Here are our top 5 tips to help you continue swimming year-round.

We are well and truly in the midst of the cooler autumn months and the winter months are creeping closer and closer but that doesn’t mean you have to stop swimming and wait for spring to be upon us again.

If the thought of ditching swimming for winter has crossed your mind, don’t worry you’re not alone, it’s a common dilemma faced by ocean swimmers each year.

Here are our top five tips to help you continue swimming through the colder months.

1. Swim with friends

Whether you’re hitting the pool or the ocean, swimming with friends is always fun and makes your whole swimming experience better.

During the colder months find a group of friends that enjoy swimming as much as you and make a plan to either hit the pool or the ocean a couple times a week.

By doing this you can continue to enjoy swimming throughout the colder months and have someone to keep you accountable and motivated to hit the water.

2. Dress for the water temperature

Swimming in a wetsuit can be a controversial topic for some ocean swimmers but we believe you should wear whatever swimming accessories help you stay in the water longer and allow you to continue ocean swimming all year round.

Don’t feel bad for wearing a wetsuit, booties, gloves or even double capping. If it makes you warm in the water and allows you to swim during the colder months then by all means do it.

The Weri Point Swimmers enjoying an ocean swim in their wetsuit and skull hats

3. Hit the pool instead of the ocean

Hitting the pool is a great option for those days when the winter air and less-than-warm ocean water aren’t appealing.

If you struggle with the cold and a wetsuit isn’t cutting it, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your swim, just hit the pool instead.

Swimming in the pool is a great alternative to the ocean, after all, the pool’s heated and it’s a great opportunity to be able to work on some skills that you can’t work on in the ocean.

4. Know what to expect before hitting the water

Before you start swimming throughout the colder months know what you are in for before hitting the water.

Each day before heading out for your open water swim, check what the water and air temperature are, to ensure you can be fully prepared.

It is also important to remember that when open water swimming during the colder months your body can experience multiple things when diving into the water, including;

  • Cold water shock can cause your chest to tighten and your breathing to become shallow when you enter the cold water.
  • A brain freeze is a common occurrence when you submerge your head in cold water and something swimmers often feel towards the end of their swims in the colder months.

5. Take care of yourself post-swim

Being fully prepared for the cold weather post-swim can make your overall winter swimming experience a whole lot better.

Depending on how cold it is, depends on what you need to warm yourself up post-swim and raise your body temperature again. Some of our favourite ways to warm up post-swim are:

  • A deck coat
  • Hand warmers
  • Hot water bottle in your towel
  • And of course, a hot coffee or hot chocolate accompanied by a good chat with your swimming buddies.
Swimmers warming up with their deck coats and beanies post-swim
  • Written by Ocean Swims on 16 May 2023
  • (Updated on 4 August 2023)

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