Intended for healthcare professionals


Why I . . . love wild swimming

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 04 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6321
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

Consultant geriatrician Clare Bostock talks to Jacqui Wise about the benefits of wild swimming for physical and mental health

Wild swimming is an incredible way to simultaneously numb and heighten different senses, says Clare Bostock, a consultant geriatrician in Aberdeen.

“When you go wild swimming it feels like all your worries are washed away,” says Bostock, who regularly swims in the North Sea where the temperature rarely gets above 13°C. “The cold means you have to concentrate on controlling your breathing and settling into a swimming rhythm. It is a good way to completely empty your mind as you can’t think about anything else.”

When you get out of the water your skin is tingling and you get a mental buzz, enthuses Bostock, who admits she was initially nervous. “Regularly challenging myself in the sea means that I …

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