Do you know how to swim? Are you looking for a new experience in Sweden? We have a nice idea for you! Winter swimming can be super exciting challenge full of fun.
Health Benefits of Winter Swimming
Health benefits of winter swimming have been scientifically proven. This activity increases feel-good hormones, reduces stress and improves sleep (unless you have heart or blood circulation problems, which means swimming in ice-cold water should be avoided).
Cold water causes constriction of the blood vessels, which allows your body to retain heat, and the blood pressure increases to avoid cooling down. In the process to protect the body, hormones such as endorphins are released and act as a pain relief (as well as an antidepressant) for a few hours. As a result, winter bathers are known to lead more active lives and are generally happier and more fulfilled than other people.
Where to Try Winter Swimming in Stockholm?
If you are in Stockholm or you are planning a trip to Sweden, consider Hellasgården. It is a great place for fans of winter sports. Located in about 25 minutes from the city center, Hellasgården has slopes for downhill skiers and paths for cross country skiers. There’s even a swimhole cut directly out of the ice for the most adventurous among you!
The on-site cafe serves a range of drinks and snacks, on weekends they fire up grills where you can cook sausages and burgers which you can buy inside the cafe. There is even a sledding hill fit for both adults and children — but you need to bring your own sleds.
On Saturday, the 18th of January 2020 there will be held a competition in Hellasgården — Stockholm Winter Swim Open. 200 swimmers will take part in it. The first Swim Open was organised in Hellasgården in 2019.
Scandinavian Winter Swimming Championship
If you are an experienced cold water swimmer, consider to participate in the Open Scandinavian Championship in Winter Swimming.
A Winter Swimming Competition is being held on Saturday, the 15 of February 2020 in Skellefteå. This is the scandinavian championship and a part of the World Cup. Every year approximately 400 winter swimmers from different countries take part in the competition. In 2020 individual competitions will be held in 25 meters breaststroke and butterfly, 50 meters breaststroke and freestyle and 100 meters freestyle. There will be also relay races 4 x 25 meters breaststroke, where both genders must be represented. The Open Scandinavian Championship is arranged by the association Dark & Cold (‘Föreningen för Mörkrets and Kylans Glada Vänner‘).
If you are both great traveler and cold water swimmer, you can check the events under International Winter Swimming Association.
IWSA World Cup Series is the next step giving ordinary swimmers a chance to participate in a series of international events. It helps to promote winter swimming as a healthy sport and fosters international friendship.
Winter swimming is a global lifestyle sporting activity. Enjoy swimming, challenge yourself and get an unforgettable experience with ice-water swimming!
If you are a newbie swimmer, we recommend you to have some classes before. Make sure that you are confident in the water! Take our advice and wear a hat when you are ice-swimming. If you do so, you will retain up to 50% of your body heat.