Ann Williams from Lancaster has spent the last month doing a sponsored cold water dip every day to raise money for CancerCare.
Her dips have included swimming at Capernwray Diving Lake near Carnforth and Buttermere in the Lake District as well as immersing herself in the cold water therapy pod she has at her home.
Ann spends an average of 10 mins for each dip and said the experience makes her feel “absolutely fantastic” and she always leaves the water renewed and full of vitality.
“For those 10 minutes I find I don’t think about anything other than the cold water and I find it completely recalibrates my mind. I come out feeling energised and ready for anything!” said Ann.
Over the month of her challenge, Ann said that no matter how busy she got she always managed to find time to either take a short trip to the lake or jump in her cold water pod.
“It has become really important part of my life and always made sure I always got a dip in as if I didn’t, I would be missing out on something that I knew would make me feel great,” said Ann.
Ann is a former client of CancerCare after experiencing a cancer diagnosis 23 years ago. She said her fundraiser was a way of giving something back to the charity that helped her with therapy at a very difficult time in her life. She has already raised nearly £800 through her Just Giving page.
“At the time, CancerCare was an incredible place for me. Somewhere I could come, put my wig on the back of the chair and not think about everything that was going on,” said Ann.
Open water swimming and cold water immersion can provide numerous benefits to both physical and mental health. A recent study by the National Library of Medicine found 95% of people with depression experienced a reduction in symptoms, 98.4% with anxiety also noticed their symptoms being less severe and 83% of those with injuries or musculoskeletal conditions said symptoms were reduced or felt better after outdoor swimming.
It can also help improve metabolism as the heart works faster to warm up the body and boost the immune system help the body build up its natural defences. Click here to read a special guide about open water swimming
If, like Ann, you fancy boosting your vitality this autumn, you can take part in our new Dare2Dip Every Day challenge which is inviting people to jump in cold water – whether in the bath or in Buttermere – to raise money for CancerCare!