It is a well-known fact that swimming is a complete sport that combines both cardio and muscular training. With summer bringing heat waves and the need to cool off, why not enjoy a refreshing swim? Luckily, our immense province is dotted with large rivers often perfect for open water swimming. This type of swim will give you a feeling of well-being and freedom. Here are some tips to get you started this summer, if you haven't already!

A greater physical challenge and increased sense of well-being

Going from swimming in a pool to swimming in open water is not easy. You might need to adapt to a few factors before you feel comfortable: the water temperature, finding your way in the water, the outdoor weather, etc.

In the swimming pool, corridors can help us find our way. In open water, if we do not look towards where we are going, we can easily deviate from our trajectory. It is therefore necessary to develop appropriate swimming techniques. To do this, it is recommended that you consult a trainer who can provide you with sound technical advice.

We must also keep in mind that this type of swimming can be more physically demanding depending on the strength of the current or the presence of waves. The idea is therefore to set goals adapted to your level. If you want to train for an event like a triathlon, it may be useful to start by working on your endurance in the pool before starting to train in open water.

An excuse to get out of the city

As cities quickly become suffocating during the summer heat waves, swimming in open water becomes a good way to escape in nature. To train safely and benefit from the feeling of tranquility that comes with learning in a natural environment, the ideal is to find access to water where motor boats and other fast boats are limited.

Some nautical clubs, such as the one in Lac-Beauport, offer supervised training sessions on rivers with swimming lanes. It is also possible to take part in training groups (swimming clubs) suitable for all levels.

Don’t forget to get the right equipment

The equipment you need varies depending on the frequency of your training and the water temperature. To practice safe swimming, here is the recommended equipment:

  • A colored silicone bathing cap to be clearly visible in the water and to prevent heat loss from the head.
  • Swimming goggles so you can see where you're going, in and out of the water.
  • A wetsuit for colder temperatures or longer swimming periods in deep waters.

In addition, as with all aquatic activities, you must be supervised or followed by a lifeguard in a kayak or on a SUP board. In the case of a swim outing at a cottage on an unsupervised lake, do not forget to warn those around you. 

The opportunity for a new challenge and much more

Open water swimming competitions are held all summer across Quebec. That said there is no need to participate in such events to enjoy the benefits of swimming. This activity can simply be a way to stay in shape if you spend the summer near a river or a lake. In addition to being a great way to stay fresh during the warm season, it is a sport without impact on your joints that will bring you a much appreciated state of well-being.