Every Sunday morning, myself and a small group of friends hit the mud track for a leisurely(depending on your fitness) 5k run through Hampstead Heath. The hills are steep, long & tough and the muddy uneven terrain combine together to create an adventurous, challenging little session!
We start and finish the route down by the Lido. And for some people that's plenty...Enough even to put your feet up and enjoy the rest of the weekend! A 'great workout' you might say. But for the few that remain, regardless of the weather, we hit the water. Now the Lido is a freezing cold pool situated at the bottom of Parliment Hill Fields and there's always one man who's always committed, 100% involved!
Meet Charlie Watts ex MMA Fighter and Founder of WorkIt.London He has amazing positive energy that's inspiring and infectious and it's all his crazy idea. Charlie is a huge advocate for organic living. Eating and training in a way that our bodies are supposed to, and he know's all about the benefits gained from an ice cold swim. Well somehow I got dragged into this and since the first dive I haven't looked back. I wasn't sure about the whole thing at first. The fact I hate cold water was a bad start! And hopping into a freezing pool for no real apparent reason just seemed insane.... My worst nightmare!
But It's only when you put yourself out there to truly test yourself your bodies full capabilities, only then can you appreciate the value it has on your body & mind. I mean how often do we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone? In a day of iphones & computers, it's easy to get lazy and comfortable in our skin... Become creatures of habit and stick to what we're used to, or what we're good at. This is a shame especially when you realise the incredible potential our bodies have; To adapt, survive and grow stronger. Situations that are tough and challenging will improve you no end- physically and psychologically.
After each swim I feel positive and I'm buzzing off endorphins, not just the same day but for the whole of the following week! I sleep far better too. So for me, I couldn't think of anything worse than a cold swim which is a weird concept because at the same time, I could'nt think of anything better! Understanding and believing the rewards & bi-products has significant bearing in my decision no doubt to participate. So, even it it's your worst nightmare, just as it was for me, give it a go, it'll be worth it...
Health Benefits of a regular cold swim
Improve blood circulation
Help build and maintain a strong immune system
Improve skin tone and skin health
Improve libido and fertility 6
Release endorphins to improve feeling of wellness and vigor
Encourages good sleep.