The colder the better

The colder the better

And now for something completely different … not only different but uplifting and inspiring. Here’s a message from Justine Solomons who has changed her life. Transport yourself, make a date for the future and savour the thought of ‘a glass of champagne’.

I’ve been swimming in cold water since May 2019 (about 10 months and counting) and can honestly say it’s changed my life. I’ve always loved swimming but shied away from cold water, until last May. I’d been suffering from anxiety for a few years and depression for many years but after my first cold swim it went, overnight. That was at 18 degrees, I’ve now been down to 5 degrees and can honestly say the colder, the better. You can’t stay in for as long at cold temperatures but it ‘gets’ to you quicker! Whatever you are worrying about gets washed away, your body feels truly alive in the cold water and when you cold water swim in the morning, you feel almost invincible for the rest of that day.

As soon as you get out of the water, you get a release of serotonin. It feels a bit like drinking champagne for breakfast. (I also gave up drinking alcohol about the same time as I started swimming in cold water). I swim at Parliament Hill Lido, at the bottom of Hampstead Heath, it’s a 61 x 27 metre pool and is surrounded by trees, we get a variety of birds come visit us by and in the pool. In the winter they have a sauna, and the community there is also extraordinary. It’s like a healthy pub, with people from all walks of life telling stories and watching out for each other. Cold water swimming is amazing, it rebuilds you and makes you stronger and happier. It’s incredible to swim outside through all seasons.

After being a sun worshipper and self confessed tanorexic all my life, I now like the rain because cloud cover means the air is a little warmer. I also adore the community, it’s like nowhere else in London. We’re a village right in the middle of London that seems to have found the elixir of life.

Justine Solomons, Director of Byte The Book

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