Diving into Finnish tradition: Winter swimming and sauna experience
Quite unsure about others but as someone who grew up in tropical climate and have a skin that has less tolerence towards cold weather, I doubt on my ability of doing this at first. Surprisingly, I did it not only once but three times at different places and weather conditions. This article is about winter/ice swimming activity and my experience of doing it in Finland.
|Image source: www.avecphoto.com/Seppo Olkinuora|
In Finland, it is not only being part of their culture but also has becoming a tourism attraction. People all around the world are expected to try this at least once whenever they are in Finland during the season. Here, you will experience two things which are winter/ice swimming and sauna (best combination ever).
How it works
Though this is not a healthy thing to do, the other fun way is entering into the cold water first before sauna. No harm trying if you feel a little bit adventures.
Health benefits and risks
According to Visit Finland website, most of them in Lapland region typically do this before they go for their daily routine like work. It is said that their energy boost stays for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, winter or ice swimming can be dangerous to people who are not used to swimming in cold water. Those with heart diseases, obesity and high blood pressure should avoid doing this. Just, try not to consume alcohol before swimming as it speeds the flow of hypothermia.
I said to myself “NO, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DO IT“. I was down with a lot of what if.. what if.. what if.. questions. You see, I overthink about it. LOL.
Of course I was pretty nervous at first place.
My first winter swimming experience was in Turku (Saaronniemi Beach, Ruissalo Island) where the temperature was -2°C and mild wind. As this is my first time ever, I don’t have any idea how it feels like getting into cold water.
I went into the water slowly and take a deep breath. The water was not as bad as what I have expected. My skin felt numb but as soon as I came out from the water, it felt a warm and better. Pat on the back as I did three dips here.
The second one was at Villa Wallden in the Turku Archipelago (Korpo, Island). I’m not kidding, this was scarier than the previous one. It was total dark and so windy that time. I barely able to see my step when going into the water and I am so glad that I did it here for a slightly different experience.
Finally, I did at Löyly, Helsinki. At that time, myself seem to be more relax and easy as I know what to expect and feel. It was snowing in Helsinki that day and the water was full of ice but that surely doesn’t stop us from doing it. The feeling of getting into the icy baltic sea was just unimaginable and glad that I did it… three times. Clap clap.
Places to do winter/ice swimming and sauna in Finland
|Saaronniemi Beach, Ruissalo Island|