The Benefits of Swimming Everyday
You already know that swimming is a fun way to keep your body in shape. But did you know that swimming also has benefits for your brain? You heard that correctly: not only can swimming help tone your muscles and boost your joint health, it also has psychological benefits!
From anxiety reduction to weight loss to stress management, a simple swim can boost your mood and even help improve your sleep. If you’re in need of more zzz’s and less stress — and let’s face it, in our 24/7 iPhone society, who isn’t? — then consider taking a daily dip to gently enhance your personal wellness. No matter your age or fitness level, daily or even weekly swimming can impact your life in a positive way.
Ready to start sculpting your brain along with your body? Then read on to learn more about the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of swimming, including some of the latest tips from Harvard Medical School’s Health Letter. We’ll look at how regular swim sessions may help you to manage common health issues like insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, and high blood pressure. Of course, you should always consult your physician if you have any medical questions or concerns.
How Does Swimming Affect Your Mental Health?
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Unfortunately, in today’s hectic world, it’s not always easy to practice self-care. But what if we told you the answer was already sitting in your backyard?
With proven benefits for mood and mental health, swimming is a fantastic way to refuel and recharge for tomorrow’s challenges. Numerous studies have shown clear links between regular exercise and improved mood.
While anyone can benefit, swimming may be especially therapeutic for people with anxiety or depression. As Harvard Medical School explained in a newsletter published last summer, “Swimming is a repetitive motion that forces you to focus on your movement and breathing. That helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.”
While everyone has a different response to exercise, some people might actually swim themselves happier.
Emotional & Psychological Benefits of Swimming
Swimming also promotes a wide range of psychological and emotional benefits. From decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, to increased relaxation and happiness, it seems like just about everyone has the potential to benefit from routine pool exercise, no matter what their health background looks like.
So how does this transformation work? The answer lies in the complex chemistry of your brain. As the experts at Healthline explain, physical exercise (like swimming) causes your brain to release neurotransmitters called endorphins: chemical messengers shown to boost mood and decrease pain.
The best part? You don’t even have to break a sweat! According to the results of a study published in 2016, which followed a group of 24 women, “Exercise reduced depressed mood 10 and 30 minutes following exercise, but this effect was not influenced by exercise intensity.” In other words, even light or moderate exercise can have a mood-boosting effect — welcome news for most of us!
While these benefits are definitely compelling, you shouldn’t dive into the deep end just yet. First, it’s important to talk with your doctor before incorporating exercise into your personal fitness routine. For some people, swimming might have greater risks than benefits. Leigh de Chaves, a physical therapist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard, does not generally recommend swimming for anyone with “an underlying condition, such as heart disease or a seizure disorder,” which could be dangerous if a medical emergency were to occur in the water.
Swimming & Anxiety
If you’ve ever experienced feelings of anxiety, you aren’t alone. According to statistics, more than 18% of the U.S. population is impacted by an anxiety disorder — a number that translates to roughly 40 million people!
The good news is that anxiety is a treatable condition. In addition to treatments like medication or therapy, regular exercise can also help you manage anxiety. Organizations like the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, or ADAA, have noted that some people respond positively to regular exercise such as swimming. While not everyone benefits, many swimmers report a reduction in their symptoms.
What Happens to Your Body When You Swim Everyday?
Sometimes when we don’t see immediate results, we get impatient or frustrated and quit our exercise routine . We’ve all been there, but don’t give up! You may not see the results right away, but if you stick with a regular pool routine, you’ll eventually begin to notice the benefits. For example, you might notice that you have more strength, better flexibility, reduced joint pain, or a slimmer waistline. According to Harvard, swimming can also decrease your blood pressure, improve your balance, and even reduce joint pain caused by arthritis.
You can also target and tone certain muscle groups, depending on your specific fitness goals. For instance, the classic butterfly stroke works your deltoids (shoulders) and trapezius (upper back). The backstroke, which uses a different technique, targets your latissimus dorsi (mid-back), plus muscle groups like your hamstrings and glutes.
Ultimately, complex factors determine what benefits you experience, ranging from the speed of your metabolism, to your age and gender, to the speed and intensity of your swimming pool routine. If you’d like to optimize your results, consider talking to a professional such as a personal trainer, who can customize a plan around your unique needs and health profile. You should also consult with your doctor, who may make recommendations or refer to you a specialist.
Why Does Swimming Make You Feel Good?
Why does swimming make you feel so good? Maybe the better question to ask is why swimming wouldn’t make you feel good! Just consider this impressive list of the physical and mental benefits:
- Increased endurance
- Increased energy
- Increased happiness
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced depression
- Reduced insomnia
- Reduced joint pain
- Reduced stress
- Stronger muscles
- Weight loss
Whether this is the very beginning of your wellness journey, or you’re ready to take your fitness routine to the next level, your pool is the perfect place to get started. Explore the benefits today and find out for yourself! To maximize your results, try using an app or journal to track your swimming habits, then stick to a consistent routine over time.
Get More Exercise the Fun Way with a Vinyl or Fiberglass Swimming Pool by Latham
There are undeniable mental and physical benefits to regular exercise — but who wants to run on a treadmill every day? Swimming is the fun way to get your daily workout, from gentle movements for balance and strength, to high-speed laps for cardio wellness. Swimming can also have a positive impact on anxiety, depression, and insomnia, along with other psychological benefits.
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