Open water swimming involves swimming in outdoor bodies of water like rivers, lakes, even the ocean

Also known as "wild swimming," open water swimming has grown in popularity since being included in the Olympics in 2008

There are a number of risks associated with open water swimming—from dangerous sea life to exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration

But there also are a number of benefits. Here we take a look at the benefits of open water swimming, offer tips for a good workout

In general, swimming is a full-body workout that is non-weight bearing and easy on the joints

Research also indicates that swimming in cold water has a wide variety of health benefits including positively impacting hematological and endocrine function

Additionally, people who engage in open swimming have fewer respiratory tract infections and mood disorders

That being said, each person is different and everyone has different bodies and different levels of athleticism