Self Care Denmark

Winter Swimming

You may ask yourself, but why on earth would I go in cold, dark water when it’s freezing outside? Fair enough I was one of those. Remember I am from Cannes in the south of France, when we see people swimming in November we think they are crazy and the water is still at 20 degrees hahaha. I had that picture of Danish winter being all “Hygge”, you know candle, cosy inside in the warm drinking a coffee.But there is the other side, what’s left of the viking people.

So let’s dive into this crazy idea…


Called: cold dip, ice bath, winter swimming… . The main idea is to challenge your body and mind to go swim in cold waters.

I discovered that when I moved in Copenhagen, DK.


It has been part of the culture in the nordics for ages now, mostly in Finland, but it has gained a lot of popularity in Scandinavia and around the world.

In Copenhagen it started in the end of the 19th century, when the first establishment opened ( Helgoland Badeanstalt).

How cold the water should be?

It does not really matter, if where you live it’s at 20 during winter, well it’s still good.

The water in Denmark “never” freeze but from December to March it’s between 2 to 4 degree .In 2021 the sea got frozen, and yes we did go for a dip ;). 


Apart from being fun and challenging, studies show that cold water swimming has a lot of different health benefits.

Improves your immune system 

Cold water boosts white cells count in your blood stream because the body is forced to react to the changing conditions.

Once you get used to it, your defense systems gets better at activating and therefore boost the immune system.

Which help prevent cold and so on.

Improves your bold circulation

The cold forces your blood to circulate  in your extremities ( hands, feet).

If you have high blood pressure, be extra careful and maybe check with your doctor.

Reduce stress 

Icy dip releases adrenaline, noradrenaline, serotonin, cortisol and dopamine.

When going in cold water, you challenge your mind for something not normal to do, you focus on listening to your body, your breathing.

All of this shows in the long run that reduce stress.

After a cold swim, you feel so relaxed.

It helps you to get more challenged in your daily life.


But the best is to start around October until the end of winter, so for us it’s al year long as we have water near us at all time in Copenhagen.

WHERE TO SWIM (Copenhagen) ? 

You just need access to water, a lake, a river, the sea, the ocean what’s near you. You don’t need to be part of a swimming club to start.

In Copenhagen you have a lot of areas where you can go.All the beaches for exemple, but also in the city in the canals.


Few swimming spot for you:


Well it’s not necessary, we actually did winter swimming at the beginning of the pandemic and we had no access to sauna.

Now we do, so I will not lie to you it’s nicer but not a must.

If you visit the city and would like to try with a sauna session, I can recommend you La Banchina or Copenhot.

But unfortunately the Sauna culture in DK is not like Finland or Iceland. Hopefully it will change, but for now most places are member places with long waiting list.


​​​Manual :


Based on a study, it shows you need to swim 17min / week and do 57min of sauna in order to benefit the most of it.

Study’s made in Finland shows that staying over 30min / session in the sauna reverse the benefits.

If you interested I recommend you this podcast ;).

I tried to share my experience and few facts from study to provide you the best infos to start your journey.

Remember you’re doing that for yourself so have FUN !!!

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To make it short before my travel timeline, I am an Island, Sun, Ocean lover. In love with diving & freediving, dream of becoming a surfer one day.
I am a foodie, always looking for the best places to have a food experience.

Planet lover, so I try to make the most concious choices

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