ITV News reports: The weather may be seasonably wild at times, but that doesn’t seem to be deterring the hardy souls embracing wild swimming despite the chill.
In fact, the benefits of cold water swims, dips or plunges are being hailed by many as benefiting them both physically and mentally – from boosting circulation and burning calories, to releasing endorphins and helping to reduce stress.
One group of swimmers have made braving the elements at Loughmacrory, outside Omagh in Co Tyrone, part of everyday life.
Personal trainers Paddy McGrath and Daniel Fox started taking to the waters as part of their routine, but now the group has grown. Paddy told UTV; “I would just advise anybody that’s feeling a bit down to give it a go.” He added; "start off with cold showers maybe, not just taking a plunge at this time of year into the lough...
Those taking part find it a refreshing experience, one that boosts their energy and sets them up for the day ahead.
“To do something really hard first thing in the morning, it’s just going to make everything else you do that day really easy,” Daniel added. “You definitely do feel good coming out of it - the rest of the day, you’ve more energy, you just feel better, like you’ve done something really hard, you’ve accomplished something.”
Anyone considering trying wild swimming should be mindful of safety, including not going out alone, otherwise it could be just the boost needed – albeit a baltic one! See Wild Swimming Safety...