World's Most Beautiful Places For Open Water Swimming

Going on vacation and maintaining your fitness level sounds like living in a perfect world. The increasing range of open water swimming possibilities due to the growing popularity of the sport is now adding beauty to it.

Who will prefer swimming for hours in a pool where the environment doesn't change when they can do the same and have a different view every time they take a breath.  Isn't that reinvigorating?[slideshow:82072]

Outdoor swimming is not a seasonal sport. The key is acclimatizing. It's easy to swim  in the sea when it's 85 degrees outside and the water is warm. Don't stop there. Keep swimming in your local lake, river, sea, ocean at least once a week as the weather changes. Think of the rejuvenating effects of cold water if you need motivation. It helps improve circulation, bring more blood flow to your organs, and it even helps you detox. These are just a few reasons why cold showers are recommended. The cold water also releases any tension you may feel because it improves your energy flow.

Adapting to it is also beneficial because it boosts your mood and improves your metabolism, especially how body processes sugar, according to studies. Some research even suggests that getting used to the cold water may even decrease the risk of a heart attack.

So if your New Year's resolutions include to "get fit," you can substitute it with "go open water swimming." It's a fantastic full body workout that saves you from the dullness of a gym. Swimming outdoors keeps you away from chlorinated pools and the boredom and monotony of doing laps up and down in a straight line.

Here is a list of some of the world's most beautiful places you can do just that:

Waikiki Roughwater Swim in Waikiki, Hawaii

This swim on the beautiful south shore of Oahu in Honolulu starts under the Diamond Head volcano. People then swim across Waikiki Bay over coral reefs to reach the finish at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The distance is just about 2.5 miles. As its name would suggest, the race is very competitive. Strong wind and high waves are a sporadic obstacle. About 1,000 people sign up every year.

Cole Classic at Manly Beach in Australia

This swim in the ocean is one or two kilometers (0.6 or 1.2 miles). It is scheduled for February 7 so you still have time to sign up. The swim started in 1983 with 101 participants as a challenge for people to see how much they can do physically and mentally. It has grown to 4,000 swimmers (a record 4,500 in 2010). The race is now one of the most anticipated community events in Sydney.

Click here for more of the World's Most Beautiful Places for Open Water Swimming

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