Winter swimming myth-busting

With more swimmers than ever getting a thrill from the chill this autumn, there is also more bad advice out there! Here a few myths busted for you.

Advice overheard

"You just need to dive straight in," we heard a swimmer tell her friends. On further enquiry, we found out that she'd read this in an article. As regular winter swimmers, we put her right, but this kind of poor advice is terrifying because it can be so dangerous.

All the following myths have been heard or read:

Myth #1: You should jump or dive straight in

It's true that you should get into cold water quickly. It takes 60-90 seconds for cold water shock to pass, and if you get in incrementally you could spend your entire swim time getting used. But cold water shock includes a gasp reflex and you don't want to submerge your head while this is happening. Instead, walk in up to your shoulders, spend a couple of minutes standing or treading water and then start your swim. Once the cold water shock has passed, you're welcome to jump in.