One of the things the corona pandemic has taught us is that proximity to nature is important. When the world is raging around us, people are reaching out to the forest’s green leaves, soft moss and rattling tree tops – a place where we can find peace and complacent. Swimming in a Swedish lake this summer has become the new Swedish yoga.
Swimming in a Swedish lake is also fun, relaxing and a wonderful way to experience the Swedish nature. Venture into the nature’s safe embrace and find your magical lake in the woods. Global trend agency WGSN reported last year that walking in nature is the new yoga.
Over 100,000 lakes
In Sweden there are over 100 000 lakes and woodland lakes that you can jump in and swim. You don’t have to go far to find water. The lakes can vary in size dramatically – some are small forest ponds and there are large lakes. Vänern, which is Sweden’s largest lake and the third largest in Europe. It covers an area of around 5600 square kilometers.
Increasingly, people discover the phenomenon named forest bathing which is about being in the forest and feel and smell the environments. And when you swim in the forest, blood pressure drops and walking through trees calms your nervous system.
Related: Gliding Through Sweden’s Heartland
Natural and artificial lakes
In the woods of the western part of Fulltofta there is a small swimming area by Lake Ringsjön. The smaller lakes often have more visitors, in the bigger lakes there are water sports and activities going on, as the water temperatures are slightly higher.
In Järavallen you can swim in an artificial lake which, after many years of digging is ready with a small sandy beach with barbecue areas, benches and tables. It is also accessible by wheelchair. The lakes are often cool in the beginning of the season, June, and are slowly heating up towards August.
The new Swedish yoga
Forest bathing originated in Japan and has now spread throughout the world. It is used as a remedy for stress – the only thing you need is a forest to “swim” in, it says. It is a true nature and outdoor experience, great for relaxing.
Sweden is one of the countries in Europe with the largest percentage of forests. As much as 69 percent of the country is forest. The Swedes have also been extremely good at preserving the diversity of the forest and protecting it, which makes them extra exciting to explore. In Norway, only 3 per cent of the forest is protected, compared to 5 per cent in Sweden.
With a warm spell of at least 13-16 degree Celsius in the night, and 22-25 during the day the temperatures in the lakes might reach 20 degree Celsius and over. The temperatures in the bigger lakes seldom reaches 20 degrees. Therefore, it is suggested to swim in smaller warmer lakes.
You can either go out into the woods on your own to enjoy and discover the nature with all your senses, or you can join an organized “forest swim” tour with local companies. The forests in Sweden are accessible to all through public law.
More information on lakes and water quality
Most of the lakes are clean and safe to bathe in. For more information on lakes and water quality check the website of the Swedish Water and Ocean board.
The New Swedish Yoga, written by Tor Kjolberg