Ronan Foley, ALL Member on RTE's Brainstorm

Thursday, January 3, 2019 - 10:15

Head shot of Ronan Foley

Into the blue space: the joys of outdoor swimming.

Ronan Foley

Opinion: we know the physical and mental benefits of outdoor swimming, but we should pay more attention to the places and spaces where swimmers meet

After the first day of the long hot summer of 2018, most newspapers had images of leaping teenagers plunging into water. As well as being a rite of passage, there is general agreement that swimming is of value for physical and mental health. Health psychology and neuroscience provide substantial evidence on the mental health benefits. In addition, organisations like Swim Ireland and Healthy Ireland promote swimming for its value as a life-skill, for health and safety and for fitness and physical activity.

As a health geographer, I would argue we need to pay more attention to the places and spaces where swimming happens and to think about why blue places and spaces are important in promoting swimming as a free, shared and caring activity for all...

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