7 Reasons Swimming Boosts Mental Health

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Sounds left field, but swimming, and having access to a swimming pool can boost mental health.

Swimming pools can be a great way to help deal with anxiety and boost mental health. Exercise is known to be one of the best ways to take care of physical and mental health, but did you know that it’s also an important part of maintaining your mental well-being?

Everyone knows how good a swim feels in summer after a long day at work or school – it’s about as close to instant relaxation as you can get.

Exercise helps reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins in the brain – chemicals that give us feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Exercise also boosts our self-esteem by boosting serotonin levels. This neurotransmitter regulates moods and emotions, so when low levels cause depression or anxiety, it’s no wonder many people feel depressed or anxious. 

woman swimming under water
When swimming, it’s easier to think clearly

Ways Swimming Benefits Mental Health

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for those suffering from panic attacks and anxiety – whether they’ve been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic disorder, Agoraphobia, or Social phobia.

For some people, swimming pools are an essential part of the recovery process and a way to manage mental health symptoms.

Here are seven ways swimming can boost your overall health.

1) Swimming Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Swimming makes you feel good. It releases endorphins into the bloodstream, which gives a natural ‘high’ and leave swimmers feeling relaxed, contented, and stress-free. 

Swimming regularly can also help improve self-esteem. Getting in a and enjoying some me-time is one of the most relaxing things we can do, alone or with friends. 

When we swim, our worries temporarily slip away. A pool is great way to spend time with friends, but it’s also healthy to enjoy some alone time. Having a pool at home (check out conquest swimming pools as an example) can really enhance the experience and increase the amount of weekly swimming you do.

Water supports your body and allows it to move freely, which means joints aren’t strained or damaged, so thsi form of exercise can help with mobility problems. 

brunette woman in black swimsuit under water
Water supports your body and allows it to move freely

2) Swimming Requires Minimal Equipment

Swimming is easy an affordable – all that’s required is a bathing suit and flip-flops. No huge sign up fees, no special equipment, and no fuss. Just you, your friends or family, and the pool. A

Swimming can be enjoyed all year round at any time of day, as there are indoor pools and most in Australia are heated.

Many Australians believe cycling is better for keeping fit and healthy than swimming – but cycling doesn’t give you the same low-impact workout as swimming. The big difference between the two is that the bike does some of the work for you, therefore you burn less calories on a bike than swimming.

3) Swimming Helps Clear The Mind

When swimming, it’s easier to think clearly. During periods of high stress, swimming can be a god-send. Spending time in the water can help clear the mind and focus better.

4) Swimming Gives You an Appetite

Swimming is one of the best exercises for strengthening all parts of the body – most importantly, it helps with the lungs and heart and increases blood flow. In fact, swimming can even help us live longer, and it definitely increases the appetite for protein rich food.

5) Swimming Relieves Stress

Swimming helps reduce blood pressure, which in turn means fewer headaches and less stress. Even if anxiety or depression are not an issue, occasional migraines during times of stress can also be relieved by swimming.

woman in white bathing suit swimming
Swimming is one of the best exercises for strengthening all parts of the body

6) Beaches have added mental health benefits

Getting exposure to the sun and ocean air is great for mental health. The beach can relieve stress instantly. Negative ions in the sea breeze boost our mood.

Studies on surf therapy have shown it boosts your overall mood. The movement of populations towards coastal areas globally is yet another example of humans gravitating to locations that make them feel better.

Staring at the ocean changes the frequency of brain waves, and puts us into a mild meditative state. Listening to the waves also has an impact as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which makes us feel more relaxed.

7)  Swimming Increases Mindfulness

Swimming activates the entire body and swimming is immersive which can do amazing things for the brain.

Lying on the back in the water taking deep breaths can encourage mindfulness, as can focusing on each stroke and being present in the water.

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Victoria Nash

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