Winter swimming

10 Dec 2023
Celebrated for its myriad health advantages, the practice of cold-water swimming has traditionally been part of the Estonian sauna culture, but it can also be enjoyed on its own.
Winter swimming is an extreme sport, so it's crucial to prioritise safety precautions and keep a few tips in mind. If you haven't tested your body's abilities in dunking in ice cold water before, make sure to go with a companion on your first plunge.

Winter swimming is not the same as endurance swimming — leave that to the professionals. To start, just a one-minute dip is enough for a full experience. Avoid staying in the water long enough to experience a deep cold sensation.

It's a good idea to warm up your body with a short jog or some other form of exercise before jumping in. Once you've shed your clothes, there's no time to linger on the shore — immerse yourself in the water before your mind fully grasps what's happening.

While in the water, expect an adrenaline rush, making you breathless — try to calm your breathing to signal to your body that you're not trying to kill yourself. Some more experienced individuals take a short swim. However, this isn't the place for endurance competitions with other ice swimmers - for full metabolic and circulation health benefits however, make sure to move your limbs around a bit, you can always work your way up to more movement after a few plunges. 

The most enjoyable moment of winter swimming comes when you emerge from the water — a delightful, invigorating rush of warmth takes over your entire body, making you feel more alive than ever before! Now is the perfect time to reward yourself with a warm sauna or hot tub. And if you forgot to capture all of this for social media beforehand, well, it looks like you'll have to do it all over again from the beginning!

If you're curious about winter swimming as a sport, there's an excellent chance to witness it all in action. In March 2024, Tallinn will host the Winter Swimming World Championship.

We recommend taking your icy dip with one of the organised winter swimming clubs that host regular weekly events. For a small fee, you can make use of the changing facilities and a sauna. Plus it's truly enjoyable to have cheerful, motivating companions to share the experience with!

There are a few options in Noblessner area like Lennusulps near the Seaplane Harbour or Iglusauna where you can rent a private sauna by the sea - a great option for a smaller group. In Nõmme Sports Centre you can take a dip in an outdoor swimming pool and there's a hot tub and sauna in your disposal for a small fee.
You can also contact winter swimming enthusiats of Kalaranna and get good tips and find companions.



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