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Taking the plunge but not for the faint-hearted!

Take the plunge in Open water swimming Photo: ITV Meridian

This is not for the faint-hearted because in our Winter Well-being series, we've joined a group who go Open water swimming - all year round.

They take the plunge in lakes and oceans no matter what the weather.

So who better to join in, than our own action man - Derek Johnson:

A lake on a chilly morning.

A dozen hardy souls are briefed about taking a dip.

The session is being supervised by TriSwim- an open water swimming community.

A dozen hardy souls are briefed about taking a dip. Credit: ITV Meridian

Laura Ansell, Swimming Coach- TriSwim:

Lifeguards are on hand because while the ideal temperature for beginners is 11 degrees, the lake is a bone-numbing 3 degrees!

Even experienced swimmers here are told they must not spend more than more than 15 minutes out there!

If you're going to get involved in cold water swimming, you need to find a local group to go with, especially if it's your first time. It's not like swimming in the summer when the water is warmer and our bodies are used to it. It can be dangerous if you go our on your own and you're unprepared for it.

– Laura Ansell, Swimming Coach
If you're going to get involved in cold water swimming, you need to find a local group to go with Credit: ITV Meridian

Lake and sea swimming season is normally May-October.

Although more people are making a splash all-year round.

Wading in even in wetsuits can bring a tear to the eye.

Plan it so you can dry off and warm up quickly afterwards.

Look forward to a hot drink as you weigh up the wisdom of your choices.

BENEFITS OF COLD WATER SWIMMING:

  • When immersed in cold water, your immune system learns to fight back to prevent colds
  • Makes us feel happy- help prevent anxiety and depression.
  • Being outdoors is good for the soul
When immersed in cold water, your immune system learns to fight back to prevent colds Credit: ITV Meridian

Winter swimming is not for the faint hearted, but if you're organised and ready then take a breath...

and come on in...

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