Lisa Ryan, a care professional at Radfield Home Care Stamford, Peterborough & Rutland has been continuing to make the most of the River Nene during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating her continued passion for all things open water.
The lockdown period caused by Covid-19 has led many people to seek alternate ways to exercise, and for some, to experience something completely different than the usual trip to the gym. One such activity, which has seen an increase in popularity, is outdoor swimming, often referred to as wild or open water swimming.
Lisa is no stranger to outdoor swimming and switched to swimming in rivers over 8 years ago as it provided a free and exhilarating experience. Always ready to push herself and take on a new challenge, she has swam some impressive distances. This included swimming the equivalent of the English Channel, 23 miles in one day, which she completed in an impressive 11 hours and 10 minutes. Many of these feats have also been fundraising activities and in 2016 she swam an incredible 65.6 miles, over 9 days, to support an Orphan Care programme based in Swaziland, in Southern Africa.
Outdoor swimming is not just for elite swimmers, as Lisa points out: “I tend to swim at my own pace, often by the bridge at Wansford, and it really is something everyone of all ages can participate in – either as a solo swimmer or as part of a group. You can stay within a shallow area and find areas that are really easy to get in and out of, something particularly handy for the older generation. If you follow the rules, respect the wildlife and other swimmers, you will have a great safe time.” Local and national groups such as Swim England, provide essential safety advice along with other hints and tips to get you started.
The availability of open water swimming venues has provided many with the added health and wellbeing benefits that water has long been associated with; something evermore important during the current challenging times associated with Covid-19.
As a Radfield care professional used to recognising the health needs of her clients, Lisa is a strong advocate of the therapeutic powers of water, “I’ve seen the benefits first hand, the smiles on people’s faces after they finish their swim. It can really help with a range of things like muscular complaints and day to day stresses. Following a busy day as a carer it’s such a great way to switch off. When I’m in the river only the river matters and the open water removes all the challenges of the day.”
For those who are interested in dipping their toe into outdoor swimming, Lisa is nothing but positive about her passion and the buzz she gets from her connection with the outdoors and nature: “The thing I love about being in the river more than anything else, is that you’re not just immersing yourself in nature, you are becoming part of nature. The wildlife regulars become familiar with you over time, I’ve become part of their scene. They are not bothered at all by my presence, there is something so magical about it and the freedom that the water gives me.”
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.