Get the feel good factor.... continued

Community

13.05.19

There are all kinds of ways to bring nature into your everyday life. Fresh air, natural light, and interaction with other people can help with everything from reducing feelings of stress and anger, to improving confidence and self-esteem.

Lois Robertson

Experts say that spending time in nature can be a prescription to feeling better - both in body and mind. In fact the benefits to our wellbeing are so impressive that mental health charity, Mind, actually recommends spending time outside as a way of improving anxiety and depression!

 At Home heads to the waves to find out about the benefits first hand from one of our readers.

Lois Robertson, Sunderland

Lois Robertson from Sunderland says wild water swimming changed her life when things got really tough.

 

Nothing makes me happier than when I'm bobbing around in salty sea water. No matter how stressful my day has been at work, a dip in the wonderful North sea puts it all in to perspective.

Somehow the rhythm of the waves calms me down and being face-to-face with the big wide world helps me escape the thoughts in my own head. It makes me realise what's really important. 

It might seem silly but sometimes I could cry with happiness when I realise how close I am to nature - especially when I'm swimming next to seals or I look down into the water and can see a lobster walking on the sand beneath me. Your senses come to life when you're in the water. I love the sound of the wind, the feeling of the weather and the smell of the sea.

Of course it's cold sometimes but that's part of what makes it so special. It makes you move more to keep warm, the calorie burn is amazing! It's also a great boost to your immune system and the endorphins released make you feel great - I guess that's why they're called happy hormones!


I'm part of Fausto Bathing Club, which meets on the beach at Roker twice a week. We swim all year round and every season brings new experiences. People from all walks of life get involved. Some just get their ankles wet and play about in the water, while others are more serious athletes. I always sleep so well after a swim and it's a soothed, physically tired sleep - not like a spun-out, mentally exhausted sleep I used to have before I took up outdoor exercise.


My love of swimming all began five years ago when I found myself in a bit of a crisis. A very unhappy relationship had come to an end, I found myself a single parent and I was morbidly obese. Everything in my life was at risk of losing my job, I had become depressed and I knew I was heading towards disability unless I did something about it. I took a long hard look at myself and realised I didn't want to die and leave my daughter alone.


So, I made a conscious effort to look after my heart and health. I started walking and once I had a bit of confidence, took up cycling and swimming. I had some lessons from Swim North East and I joined in with park runs, and now I enter triathlons and even cycled the Coast to Coast in a day and a half. Over time I've lost weight but the most important change for me has been to my fitness levels and my mental health. It's the best thing I've ever done.


To find out more about joining Fausto Bathing Club, visit their Facebook page.

 

This site uses cookies to help make it more useful and reliable. Our cookies page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them. read more