You just have to watch this finnish hit video. This video, published by a finnish tabloid newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, has reached million of viewers around the globe.
They watch this video just to see how a crazy finnish guy is taking it easy on a freezing cold winter day – 22 degrees below zero (that is 10 degrees on a Fahrenheit scale). After chilling a while he jumps into water, rolls in snow, jumps again into water and continues chilling.
The beauty of winter swimming was also captured by a finnish photographer, Markku Lahdesmäki. His great pictures were published in CNN Internationa Edition. Good PR for a finnish hobby!
As a finn I have to admit there is nothing special in this behaviour. I am also addicted to winter swimming (“avantouinti” as it is called in finnish). You just walk into lake and stay there as long as it feels ok. For me it is about 30 seconds.
After I come up from the lake I will feel great. The whole body is tingling and I sense a burst of adrenalin in my body. Afterwards it gives me a very relaxed feeling and a good night sleep.
Some people like to winter swimming from hot sauna. It is ok, but I can also do it without sauna. In my hometown there is a public place for all people to have some winter swimming, a warm house where you can change your swimming pants.
In Finland this seems to be a great hobby for elderly ladies. These grandmas are made of steel! Also some people do winter swimming in the morning. it gives you a good kick to start a new day.
When it is freezing cold it actually is easier to jump into water. The hardest time is when it around zero degrees Celsius, and it is raining, and it dark and wet.
You all should try winter swimming. Welcome to Finland!
And here are some safety guidance for winter swimming, taken from Tukes article:
Guidelines for winter outdoor swimming
- Before entering the water read any rules there might be and obey them. These may vary from place to place.
- It is a good idea to warm up your muscles before entering the water, e.g. with a walk using walking poles, or by skiing.
- Take a companion with you when going swimming in a hole in the ice, so that if something should happen your companion can assist you.
- You should not go too quickly from the sauna into the water or vice versa because the temperature difference between the sauna and the water may stress the heart and the change in blood pressure can cause dizziness.
- It is best to use shoes or woollen socks for walking to the hole in the ice. Special slippers are available for winter swimmers which also protect the wearer’s feet against slipperiness, sharp stones and salt.
- When walking to the ice hole remember that paths and steps may be slippery. Walk slowly and carefully.
- Never dive head first into a swimming hole in the ice. Diving and getting your head wet is not recommended, since this increases heat loss and can lead to cold shock.
- When first entering the water take a quick ‘dip’ but do not swim. This is because the cold water can cause perfectly normal, harmless gasping for breath. Once your body has adjusted to the cold, you can gradually increase the time you spend in the water.
- After going to the sauna and having a swim put on warm clothing and if necessary drink a warm beverage.
- For safety reasons, if you observe any deficiencies in the facility, you should immediately inform the supervisor.
- In an emergency call for help immediately. Before you go swimming, make sure you know how to summon help. The emergency services number is 112.