Last time I gave you a rundown of what you’ll need to do before you try winterbathing ( Winterbathing for Dummies (Part One – Be Prepared!)
So, are you ready to go down to the beach and ‘take the plunge’?
Here’s what you need to know, before you take that first step into the cold, cold water…
- Remember, remember, always bring a friend with you – either to join you in the water, or keep an eye on you from the water’s edge.
- You can walk right in from the edge of the water, but it’s easier from a bathing bridge. Your aim is to get in fairly deep – up to your neck – as quickly as possible.
- Check the water before you get in. Are there any stinging jellyfish hanging around, just waiting to strike?
- Remove your bathrobe (on windy days, you’ll need to physically tie it to the bathing bridge…) and remove your shoes last (your feet get colder faster than your body).
- Be resolute. Walk right in – don’t stop! Say to yourself that you are going to take 2, 4 or 6 swimstrokes in the water. Don’t allow yourself to think “Yikes, I’m freezing”. It really is a question of mind over matter!
- Do not hop in – it’s dangerous (very hard on the heart, especially at low temperatures).
- There is no need to put your head underneath the water if you don’t want to. I never put my head under (unless it’s the summer). Keeping your hair dry will keep your head warm! (I wear a little wooly hat when it’s very blustery/ice cold.)
- If you begin to feel heavy/very relaxed, get out of the water immediately. It’s a sign that your heart/body are working overload. What will happen next is that your body will shut down any ‘unnecessary’ functions like hearing/sight etc. Not a nice feeling.
- When you come up, quickly dry yourself off and get your bathrobe back on pronto (we don’t want to frighten any passers-by!)
- You’ll notice that parts of your body (usually it’s fingers and toes) will have turned brighted red or orange. Quite normal – don’t panic. Your normal colour should return in a couple of minutes.
Tillykke! Congratulations! Yep, you did it. And should be left feeling a) enormously proud of yourself b) very warm, considering the fact that you are standing on a deserted, cold, blustery beach…
Join me next time for Winterbathing for Dummies – The Aftermath!