What are the Health Benefits of Swimming?
August 17, 2022 at 05:38 PM
Your health matters—that's a universal truth we can all get behind.
And when it comes to prioritizing your health, swimming is a proven method for improving your mental and physical wellbeing from the comfort of your own backyard. Even just sunbathing by your swimming pool can brighten your mood, relax your muscles and alleviate underlying stress.
Take advantage of the countless health benefits that swimming has to offer and make it a part of your daily or weekly routine. Compared to other aerobic exercises, swimming has an advantage as a low-impact activity that is easy on joints and tight muscles and is suitable for all ages.
How Swimming Can Improve Your Health
Still unsure about diving in? Take a look at the seven leading reasons why swimming keeps you healthy.
1. Makes You Happy
Take the plunge and treat yourself to a natural mood booster for your body. Being out in the sun makes your body naturally produce the feelgood hormone, serotonin, which makes you feel happy. Exercise, like swimming, can double this effect by stimulating your brain and producing endorphins, a neurotransmitter that boosts your mood. Thus, taking an afternoon swim is not only good for your body, but for your brain too. Swimming can even increase blood flow to your brain and improve your memory and concentration.
2. Improves Your Breathing
Swimming has numerous healing properties, including helping you breathe better. By routinely swimming, you can learn to regulate and control your breathing, which trains your body to efficiently use oxygen and strengthen your lungs. For long-term heart health, some studies have linked swimming to improved cardiovascular health and even lowered blood pressure in some adults. Ultimately, controlling your breathing can help your body relax and increase your endurance for other aerobic exercises.
3. Peace of Mind
Taking a dip in your backyard pool can actually do wonders for your mental health. Not just because the refreshing cool water can stimulate your mind, but because of our inborn inclination towards bodies of water. According to marine biologists, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, humans naturally gravitate towards water for survival and being around water can create this feeling of calm serenity known as the "blue mind." In other words, being around the blue waters of a swimming pool gives you a sense of security and relaxation, ultimately lowering your stress levels and clearing your mind. So why not submerge yourself in water and feel your mind and body instantly unwind?
4. Reduce Strain on Body
If you’ve ever tried to pick someone up underwater, you may have noticed how much lighter they are than on land. This buoyant force that acts against gravity is what causes the feeling of weightlessness and is what makes swimming an easier exercise for recovering from injuries or body aches. Swimming puts less strain on the body than other high-impact activities such as running or weightlifting and can be preferred by people with asthma because is strengthens lung capacity. Try out different strokes—like the backstroke or freestyle— to increase your range of motion and soothe your joints without putting excess strain on your body.
5. Helps You Sleep
Sleeping well is essential for preventing illness, increasing energy levels and simply improving your overall wellbeing. So, if you’re looking for a new way to unwind before bed and guarantee a restful night of sleep, try going for late-night swim. Like other exercises, swimming can enhance the quality and speed in which you fall asleep. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 83% of those who exercise regularly reported fairly or very good quality sleep while only 53% of non-exercisers reported very good quality sleep. Since swimming is not super strenuous on the body, pool exercise is a great way to help enhance your caliber of sleep.
6. Calorie Burner
Compared to other exercises, swimming is actually a superb way to burn calories and maintain an active lifestyle. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person can burn almost 300 calories in an hour of swimming and that can increase with intensity and stroke. The stroke with the highest calorie burn, however, is the butterfly stroke with an average burn of roughly 800 calories for an hour-long swim. Even if you aren’t keen on the butterfly stroke, less vigorous pool exercises like water jogging can burn more calories than the average walk around the neighborhood.
7. Connect with Nature
Simply floating in your swimming pool can have rejuvenating effects on the mind and body. Think about the therapeutic sound of a waterfall cascading onto the rugged rocks below or warm sunrays shining on a serene stream—we feel a sense of calm when we imagine ourselves in nature. This concept is known as “biophilia.” It is our natural desire to connect with nature and other living things around us. Thus, when it comes to our own backyards, swimming pools bridge the gap between nature and our indoor living environments.
When in Doubt, Swim it Out
Besides being an excuse to use your pool more, swimming can elevate your workout routine and reinvigorate your connection to the outdoors. Try going for a weekly swim and see how it affects your mental and physical health in the long run.