Christmas Day is often considered a time to unwind, relax and catch up with family. So before all that why not give a Christmas Day swim a go to prepare you for the relaxing day ahead.

Essential Winter Swimming Kit

In this article we’ve compiled all the info you will need for your Christmas Day swim.

1. Acclimatise Yourself

If you have the privilege of living near the sea or a body of water start slowly getting used to the cold waters a few days beforehand. This can be done through immersing yourself for a couple of seconds and gradually staying in longer each time you go or by just dipping your feet in and slowly submerging more of your body each time you go. However, if you don’t live near the sea or a body of water having daily cold showers is a good alternative.

2. Safe Route In & Out

Always ensure that you have a safe way in and out of the water. This can be through the use of stairs, ladders, slipways or just a beach that gradually gets deeper. However, if you are using stairs, ladders or slipways please be aware that they might be slippery from ice or algae and always use a handrail if one is available.

3. Get In, Get Out, Warm Up

This is the best piece of advice you will get in this entire article. The water temperatures around this time of year can go down to below 10 degrees celsius in the sea and as low as 5 degrees in fresh water lakes and rivers. If you start to feel too cold in the water just get out. It’s not impressive staying in longer than you can handle.

4. How to Warm Up Afterwards

Be sure to bring extra clothes for yourself and whoever else you’re going with, in case they forget. Hats, gloves, scarfs, fluffy socks, anything to keep your extremities warm really. That along with a good jacket should ensure you warm up nicely.

There are also a few good ways to warm up after you get out from the water. One being to keep the blood flowing by moving your fingers and feet slowly. Another is to walk slowly back and forth. Honestly, any small exercise will help to bring your body temperature back up.

5. Location, Location, Location

Christmas Swims in Ireland

When it comes to locations to go on a Christmas Day swim in Ireland you are spoiled for choice. However, if you still can’t make up your mind on where to go. We’ve compiled a list of the best Christmas Day swims in Ireland, The Very Best Christmas Swims in Ireland.

6. Snacks & Drinks

Obviously, you’re going to want a hot drink and a quick snack after your swim. Our best piece of advice is to bring a thermal flask with your hot drink of choice and a nice sugary snack like a piece of cake, chocolate bar, or a packet of biscuits. Or, if there’s a local cafe nearby (that for some reason is open on Christmas Day) support them and get your après-swim drink and snack there.

7. Avoid Alcohol

I know, I know. It’s Christmas! We all love a drink at Christmas, but save it for when you’re out of the water and all warmed up. Not only will alcohol cloud your judgement in the water it can also make you feel warmer than you actually are potentially leading to hypothermia.

8. Even More Information

The Outdoor Swimming Society have an excellent article on the “Do’s and Don’ts of Christmas Day Swims”. Definitely worth a quick read after this.


By Killian Andersen

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