With Men’s Health Week this week, June 12th-18th, in a bid to raise awareness and encourage & support men to engage in healthier lifestyle choices/activities, we talked to Oisin, our Capitalflow Business Support Executive, about why sea swimming is his absolute favourite way to keep healthy, both physically and mentally, and what the benefits of sea swimming are, that he can’t live without.

Oisin, sea swimming is booming since Covid – tell us why you are a convert?

Sea swimming has transformed me. I started sea swimming at the start of Covid, during lockdown. My usual GAA training with Round Towers, Lusk was not happening and I was really missing it. I was getting stuck in a rut and I just really needed to get out of the house and start doing something. So, in the nice weather with most things closed, I started cycling down to the beach in Skerries and one sunny day I just decided to get into the sea. I happened to meet one of my mates down there by chance, and we just kept coming back, swimming every evening.

As we moved into winter, we decided we wanted to keep it up, and then when everything started to open back up, we started to swim in the mornings before work. It went from 2 of us to 6 of my friends, and now we have a massive group of all age groups who meet to swim in the mornings. including a lovely man in his sixties who swims with us every day, and has even joins us for pints.

We now meet around 7.15 am in Skerries every morning and go for our swim. To challenge ourselves, we’ve added in our “factor reset”  where before we get out, we do 5 dunks of the head – you have to do double if you have a hangover – no joke, you have to do 10 dunks, and it is the best cure ever for a hangover.

If it’s a work day, afterwards I jump into my car freezing and drive to work. It’s made worse by the fact that the heating in my car is broken, which makes the winter months pretty tough but it didn’t stop me and the weather is getting warmer now that we are in June.

We’ve also started going swimming straight after GAA training with some of the lads in the evenings as a nice cool down.”

For those of us deterred by the freezing water (we don’t care what you swimmers say, it’s still bloody freezing in Ireland in June), what incites you to swim day in, day out?

No matter what happens during my day, once I have had my sea swim, everything just feels easier. I just don’t get as triggered by things.

After training, it’s good for recovery, but the real benefit for me is for my head. No matter what form I am in getting into the water, I always feel better getting out, no matter what. A real sense of accomplishment. You get a prickly feeling on your skin, all the blood rushing. Feels like no matter what else happens, you’re grand.

And just being outside and being able to watch the sunrise feels unreal. It’s good for the circadian rhythm. It’s particularly deadly in Skerries, the sun rises between Rockabill Island and Colt Island, and looks class.

Our whatsapp group is called the Chicken Dippers if anyone passing Skerries in the mornings fancies a go. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve even just bought a cold water ice bath for my garden for when the sea gets warm in the summer.”