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What Are The Benefits Of Early Morning Swimming?

Posted by Luke Green

As a longing to get outside and connect with nature took hold both in and post-lockdown, the popularity of open water swimming erupted. Many of us tried open water swimming for the first time as both exercise and an escape, enjoying a range of physical and mental health benefits and discovering a newfound love for the water in the process. However, as schedules have changed, time spent in the office increases, and the busy nature of modern life gets in the way, hobbies like open water swimming can take a backseat. There is one obvious solution to this problem: swimming in the early morning. 

For those with a history of competitive swimming, the idea of early morning swimming will be nothing new. However, if you’re used to getting out and about when it’s light, bright and you’re wide awake, the thought of going for a swim before most people even open their eyes will raise scepticism. Dragging yourself out of bed for a swim will be hard at first, but we promise it will be worth it. Here’s why:

Starts the day on a high

Getting up and going for a swim is one of the best things you can do if you wake up feeling tired and groggy ahead of a day at work. While it is always tempting to press snooze, the initial kick you feel when you first get into the water starts your metabolism and instantly makes you feel more alert. Your body will realise endorphins as you settle into the swim and these natural mood lifters keep you energised throughout the day. 

It’s a great workout

Early morning swimming is also a fantastic workout, meaning that you can go to work or go about your day both feeling great and smug in the knowledge that you have already completed your exercise for the day! You’ll typically burn more calories swimming in open water compared to a pool as the water temperature requires your body to work that little bit harder. Plus, swimming is not as intense as other forms of cardio like running. This makes it a great choice if you’re worried about straining your muscles or restricting your ability to move throughout the day.

Reduces stress and anxiety

Swimming in open water is also great for the mind - particularly first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and the environment allows for peaceful reflection and contemplation. Once you’re in the water and focusing on your strokes and breathing, it’s much easier to forget worries and rationalise what might otherwise seem like an endless to-do list for the day. Even as you dry off in your changing robe and enjoy a hot drink from your flask, the meditative feeling that comes from being in open water will allow you to begin the day feeling less stressed and more balanced. 

Surroundings are quieter

Though it’s the incredible effect of the water itself that can make you feel both relaxed and energised, busy surroundings can still detract from the overall experience. However, early morning swimming allows you to beat the crowds and enjoy a quiet and unspoiled experience. This opportunity can be particularly valuable if you want to swim in busy coastal areas - go early in the morning and the place will be all yours to enjoy and appreciate.

A unique chance to socialise

While the joy of early morning swimming can often lie in being solitary, it is also a unique social activity. Swimming with friends first thing in the morning guarantees that you’ll start the day in good company and, for busy parents, this might also be the only time of day you have to socialise before pickups, drop-offs and clubs take centre stage. 

Even if you have yet to convince your friends to join you in the water, early morning swimming really can be a surprisingly social experience. Many coastal communities have groups dedicated to early morning swims and meeting like-minded people. This sense of camaraderie can also make it easier to motivate yourself to get up and head out in the first place. Before you know it, early morning swimming will just be another non-negotiable part of your daily routine! Set that alarm, get out, and take the plunge - we know you’ll love it.