Not For The Faint-Hearted – Swimming Outdoors In Winter

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Now that the clocks have gone back and British Wintertime is officially upon us, most outdoor pool owners in the UK will be thinking about winterising their pools, or else they’ll have done so already. What if you don’t want to, though? After all, a pool is a big investment, and it’s a shame that you’re not using it for several months of the year.

Many people choose not to use their pool during the winter months purely because the thought of swimming outside during cold, wet weather is simply not appealing. For some, however, swimming in the brisk fresh air is an invigorating, energising and thrilling experience. It is possible to keep your home swimming pool in operation all year round if you wish, but it does require some thought beforehand.

Firstly, you’ll need to bear in mind the extra power you’ll be using, not only to keep the pump and filters running during the months they would usually be out of operation, but also to heat the water to a reasonable temperature. Unless you’re really hardcore, you’ll probably want to warm the water somewhat, even if you don’t raise the temperature as high as you would during the summer.

The possibility of frozen pipework also needs consideration, so you should think about how you’re going to prevent this happening. It may mean adding antifreeze to the water and plumbing, or even making sure that you run the pump overnight and at times when the temperature drops below zero, so that the moving water doesn’t freeze.

There are a number of benefits to keeping your outdoor swimming pool running all year round, not least the fact that you’ll avoid having to do a big deep clean in the spring, when most pool owners are commissioning their pools for the swimming season. In deciding not to close your pool down for the winter, you’re also committing to keeping up a regular cleaning and swimming pool maintenance routine, so your pool and surrounding area should stay clean and healthy all winter too.

Many enthusiasts of year-round outdoor swimming can list multiple health benefits of enjoying this form of exercise whatever the weather. These include promoting the release of mood-boosting endorphins, improving circulation and skin condition, burning calories faster than warm water swimming. Swimming in unheated water is not for the faint-hearted though, and it’s not recommended for those suffering from heart conditions or asthma.

If you think you’d like the experience of swimming outdoors during winter, whether your water is heated or not, there are plenty of places you can try it out before making the decision to keep your own home swimming pool open all year round. There are various clubs and groups available in all parts of the company where you can join likeminded people to swim in pools, rivers, lakes and the sea and enjoy this exhilarating outdoor pursuit.

Photo Credit:
Curtis Gregory Perry via photopin cc

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