Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the FAQ’s before contacting us with your question.

How do I join?

Just come along to any of our sessions – they are free to join and no booking required (unless required due to Covid/Government Restrictions)

Where do you run these sessions?

Currently we have sessions in the NE of England & SW Scotland;

NE England – Sunderland, Tynemouth, Seaham, South Shields

  • Seaburn – Meet at Little Italy
  • Longsands, meet at Crusoes
  • Seaham, meet at the slope down by the harbour
  • South Shields, meet between the Surf School and the cliffs

SW Scotland – Ayrshire

  • Ayr Beach, meet at the ramp opposite Ayr India
  • Prestwick Beach, meet at the ramp in from of Mancini’s Coffee shop
  • Irvine Beach, meet at the steps leading to the beach from the car
  • West Kilbride, meet at Hyndman Road Car park

 

When do you run the sessions?

This depends on the city you are in – check our calendar for more details

Do I need a wetsuit?

No, our sessions are more about experiencing the power and benefits of the cold water – wetsuits are optional.

I have Raynauds, any suggestions?

Yes, you can either start by wearing neoprene gloves and/or socks, alternatively you can take the time to start conditioning your hands/feet to the cold. This can be done by using 2 dishes of water, one with icy water in and the other with room temperature water, dip the hands (or feet) into the cold for 10 seconds, remove from the water for 10 seconds, dip in the room temp water for 10 second, bring them back out for 10 seconds and keep doing this for several minute. Repeat daily as needed. This will train your body/brain to respond differently when going into the cold.

I suffer with migraines, will the cold water help?

This depends, for some, the cold relieves a migraine, for others it can intensify or even induce a migraine. If you suffer from migraines be mindful of when the water reaches your neck, perhaps try splashing some cold water on your neck as you begin to walk into the sea and see how you go.

What do I need to bring?

most are just extra little luxuries and very handy especially when you first start cold water swimming).

  • Swimwear; costume, bikini, shorts and T-Shirt or a wetsuit
  • Towel or Over head Robe such as a Dryrobe (you’ll probably want to invest in one of these – you can use them to get changed under, saves the worry of dropping your towel while trying to get your undies back on!
  • A large bag (Ikea bags are ideal)
  • warm clothes – plenty of loose layers
  • A warm hat (you can even wear this in the sea)
  • Hot Water Bottle (2 ideally to place under the arm pits).
  • A flask cup with a warm drink (avoid caffeine and alcohol)
  • Dry/Tow Bag – these tie to your waist and are handy to keep your clothes/valuables in such as keys
  • Phone pouch, always have your phone with you in case of emergency

I have a serious health condition – can I still join?

Please check with your GP as we are unable to provide guidance on certain health conditions.

Can I join if I’m pregnant?

There are mixed opinions on this, and is often dependant on whether your body is already conditioned to the cold. We advise you to check with your GP or Midwife before joining.

I can’t swim very well, can I still join?

We strongly advise that you only plodge in the water and sit at the shoreline to experience the benefits of the cold water. Thick wetsuits also offer buoyancy.

I am scared of the cold, do you have any tips?

Firstly, well done for even considering doing something you fear, this in itself is an accomplishment and will rewire your brain to face other things which you find stressful. By joining in with our pre dip breathing, this will help relax your body and mind. We will demonstrate the best way to breathe when going into the water to help keep you relaxed.

Will I get hypothermia?

Not if you condition your body gradually to the cold. Try staying in the water no more than 3 mins on your first go – over time you will build up your cold exposure time. Never compete with others, everyone’s body reacts differently to the cold.

I don’t go in the sea/river/lake as often as I would like to, how can I condition my body to the cold?

Take a cold shower at least 5 times per week, end your regular warm shower with a 30 second blast of cold water, week by week build up this time to 2-3 mins or longer. You could also build up your cold exposure time by simply going out on a colder day with fewer layers on, for example, if the weather is quite cold, try going for a 20 min walk in just a T-shirt (and of course something on the bottom half)

I’m nervous about being with lots of people, any suggestions?

Everyone is very welcoming and everyone is there for their own reasons, some come for the health benefits, some come for the social aspect and others for the challenge. If you are feeling too anxious about joining the group then how about inviting a friend or family member? If this is not possible then email us and we’ll offer more advice.

I hate how my body looks but really want to join

Then come and join and we can assure you that you’ll soon feel at ease – no one cares about how anyone looks, we come in all shapes, colours, sizes and nationalities. You are welcome and accepted just as you are.

What are the benefits of going in the cold water?

So many to mention but here are a few;

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps with weight loss
  • improves circulation
  • glowing hair and skin
  • clears and calms the mind
  • releases good feeling hormones
  • reduces muscle soreness post exercise

Can I bring my child?

Yes, although this is a Women’s group, we want to make it accessible to all women and if this means you need to bringing your child along then this is absolutely fine as long as they are with you at all times.

I don’t want to do the pre-dip breathing can I still join?

Of course you can, everything is optional, the pre dip session is there to take or leave.

Why do you do the pre dip breathing/Meditation?

Many women come along feeling anxious, not necessarily about going into the sea (though often about this) so the pre dip session is to help you relax, to bring your body from it’s fight or flight (Sympathetic Nervous System) state to a rest and digest (Parasympathetic Nervous System) state. Certain breathing techniques also activate the part of the brain which acts as a natural pain suppressant, meaning we feel the cold less.

Is there a right/wrong way to warm up?

You’ll be shown the most optimal and safest way to warm up during our sessions. In a nutshell, this is done by warming the body up slowing, so no cardio workouts after cold exposure as this puts too much pressure on the heart. Instead try squats or any slow movement exercises which works the thigh muscles.

You can also use the breath to warm your body back up, breathing techniques such as Breath of Fire which I demonstrate here

Avoid taking hot showers or baths after cold exposure, only take a warm bath or shower once the body has naturally warmed itself back up.

Can I stay in the water for longer if I feel fine when I’m in there?

We don’t recommend doing this, the challenge isn’t going in or staying in the cold water, but comes once we get out of the water when the blood vessels open back up, which can cause an after drop – this is when the cold blood from the extremities mixes with the warm blood in the core and can cause involuntary shivering of the body. Shivering is the body’s automatic way of warming itself back up. The after drop often kicks in several minutes after coming out of the cold water. It is important to never over do it and to always warm up properly.

I can’t make it to the group dips as I work on those days. Any tips for going alone?

We advise to NEVER dip or swim alone, always have someone with you or consider asking someone in the group if they’d be up for dipping at a time which suits you.

I’m going with friends, any advice on how we can know if it’s safe to swim at our local beach?

  • Check tide times using My Tide Times App (ios/Samsung/web)
  • Check the wave height for that day using the Magic Seaweed App (only available for beaches which are surf beaches
  • if it’s the summer season then swim in yellow flag spot if your beach is life guard patrolled.
  • Check for rips and be aware that rips tend to have a stronger pull at low tide
  • If caught in a rip, remember to never swim against it, instead swim parallel to the shore at a slight angle swimming back toward the shore
  • Never swim too close to a pier or big rocks etc as there will be a rip tide here.
  • If the sea and it’s conditions look too rough then keep out. There’s always another day.

If your question was not answered in this section, then please contact us

 

 

 

 

 

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