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So, with the gyms closed again, those of us looking to keep up with our physical health are left seeking alternative avenues in which to do so. 

Luckily, one thing that many of us have easy access to (in Ireland at least) is cold water — and as much as the idea pains you, a quick dip in the freezing Atlantic ocean can have numerous health benefits for you. Swimming, as a whole, is a fantastic aerobic activity and should be considered as part of any active lifestyle.

It is far easier on your joints than road-running (something we should all be doing while the gyms are out of action) and, depending on your personal preference, it is way more fun too.

But aside from that, getting into a routine of sea-swimming can give you a whole lot more than just being a good way to get your heart pumping — as it has several benefits that you may not even be aware of.

It boosts your immune system

Swimming in cold water will help boost your white blood cell count which, over time, will help you fight off bugs.

It comes with a natural high

We all know that the endorphin rush from a tough session at the gym can make you feel great but the same is true of immersing yourself in cold water for a swim.

It is great for your circulation

Cold water swimming helps flush your veins, arteries and capillaries. Repeated and prolonged exposure will help to warm your extremities and help with your ability to experience cold conditions.

It is a great stress reliever

Ever wonder why cold water swimmers you know are so relaxed? The activity places stress on you both mentally and physically, which has been proved to act as a stress reliever.