Tips for taking the cold water plunge
• CONSULT your GP before swimming if you are pregnant or you have any medical issues, especially asthma or heart or lung problems.
• TELL the lifeguards if it’s your first time in the cold water.
• WEAR a cap (or two!) It will really help to keep you warm.
• ACCLIMATISE. Reduce the amount you swim as the water temperature falls.
• REGULATE your breathing when you get in the water. Even Lido regulars will gasp when the cold hits them, so take a few moments to get your breath back, exhale and then push off from the side.
• WATCH OUT for other swimmers and tell the lifeguards if you are worried about anyone, either in the water or out.
• ASK FOR HELP if you feel cold, unwell or disoriented at any time. There is no shame in letting a lifeguard or other swimmer know you might need help.
• GET DRESSED as soon as possible after you get out of the water. Wear sandals or stand on a mat while you get changed (the showers will NOT be available)
• DRINK something warm straightaway (the cafe will be open) Consider bringing a flask with you. It’s one of the best ways to warm up. Eating something sugary will help too.
• DON’T IGNORE sniffles and other signs that you are coming down with a bug. If you don’t feel 100%, just have a few days off swimming – it’s not the end of the world.
• DON’T DRINK ANY ALCOHOL at all before you swim.
• DON’T JUMP STRAIGHT IN. Lower yourself into the water bit by bit so the cold is less of a shock.
• DON’T OVERDO IT by staying in too long. You may not feel all that cold while you are in the water, but you will carry on getting colder after you get out.
• DON’T USE THE SAUNA
• DON’T ASSUME that someone else will help a person who seems to be in difficulty. We all need to look out for each other.
• DON’T DRIVE or ride a bike till you have warmed up after your swim. Shivering isn’t good for your steering!