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The health benefits of cold water immersion is starting to become more well known with people like Wim Hof promoting the activity on main stream media on a regular basis.

I have found myself there is certainly a feeling of rejuvenation after a cold water bathing experience, however this usually takes place on warm sunny days high in the mountains. Sara Barnes takes the other approach and swims with people who regularly cut their way through ice with a chain saw to achieve a zero degree immersion. Her experience is covered in her book The Cold Fix and we discuss all this within the podcast and video.

Having been a keen runner and cyclist all her life, in 2017 Sara Barnes was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis and found herself facing major surgery and a future of limited mobility. Rather than obsessing about what she could no longer do, she decided to focus on what she could do and took to the water of the tarns, river pools and lakes in her home county of Cumbria. A new appreciation of being in nature and love of cold-water swimming and immersion was born.

In The Cold Fix, Sara takes the reader on an enthralling journey, from her first tentative steps into the water, to meeting other swimmers from around the world who share her passion and who can help her answer the question: what is it about cold water that proves irresistible to an increasing number of people?

She immerses herself in cold water at least once a day, either somewhere in nature, in her outdoor Japanese tub, or further afield to meet other swimmers for a dip in their local waters. She has written for Outdoor Swimmer magazine, The Island Review and the Outdoor Swimming Society, created and appeared in the environmental film Spread the Word Not the Weed and was featured in the 2021 BBC series The Lakes with Simon Reeve. As a natural extension of her mini watery narratives on Instagram @bumblebarnes, Sara plans to offer wild water and words retreats, which will combine her qualification as a Level 2 Open Water Swim Coach and her love of writing in nature.

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