Andrea’s guide to winter swimming

Are you dreaming of becoming a winter swimmer? Read on, when Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph tells about her love for the cold waves while telling how to comfortably introduce yourself to the low sea temperature. 

“That instant feeling of happiness that winter swimming gives me is without comparison. It’s the ultimate endorphin-explosion, which I fell in love with right away.”

“I never actively planned to become a winter swimmer. I’ve always been close to the sea and extremely fond of swimming – especially during spring and autumn. I’ve always tried my best to prolong summer as much as I could by swimming in the ocean through autumn, but I think that my love for winter swimming comes from a natural love for the ocean”

Vinterbadning i Vejby

“It’s neither time consuming nor expensive, and I started out making it a Sunday activity with by husband, Claus. On Sundays we would jump in the water, have soup, and watch tv-series – it was such a nice time. Winter swimming with Claus is such a pleasure and so much fun, because he kind of hyper-ventilates while making some very funny noises in his meeting with the cold water – when we bring the kids to the sea we laugh until our tummies ace, and fortunately he’s man enough to have people laugh at him. To Claus winter swimming is much crazier than it is to me, but we get the same kick out of it. Both Isolde, my daughter of 12, and I are much calmer in the water. Isolde can, as well as I, handle extremely low temperatures, and she’s so good at controlling her breath while remaining calm.”​

“If you want to start winter swimming, I’m not one of those who believe that you have to move slowly into a routine, though many advice it. Of course, at the moment a natural shift in weather conditions invites people to start, but it’s not a must – you can start whenever you want.”

Be prepared

“It’s important to prepare yourself well, and first and foremost that you have someone to share the experience with. Warm clothes are crucial to stay warm before and after your dip – so wrap yourself in clothes that are easy to take off and get back in. It’s not very funny to jump into the water if you’re already freezing before you go in – and that’s why it’s a must to have something to stand on, because the cold ground easily cools you down. Take off your clothes properly – the cold temperature makes your fingers pretty stiff, so it must be easy to jump back into your clothes." 

Give it time

"Take it nice and easy when going in, no matter if you’re entering from the shore or from a dock. Dip, or take a few strokes (avoid getting your hair wet – it’s going to be too cold once you leave the water), and move easily out of the water again. Your blood will rush through your body once you get up, but don’t underestimate that it’s still cold around you – so dry yourself with a towel, reapply clothes, and then just feel the heat and the energy in your body. A little extra tip, which I enjoy myself, is bringing something warm to drink afterwards. Coming home to hot soup is also wonderful.” 

Vinterbadning i Aarhus
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