Swimmers taking part in a swimming competition

Benefits of swimming on your mental health

It is important to remember that good physical and mental health are both key to having an overall healthy lifestyle. In this post, I will be discussing the benefits of swimming on your mental health and I will give you a few tips if you aren’t feeling confident.

It is is a great way to relax and reduce stress

Woman looking stressed in front of laptop

Studies have found that swimming can help the growth of new brain cells in the areas of the brain which break down due to long term stress. Although so far this has only been shown in animals, it is thought that the same effect is possible in humans. Therefore swimming might enhance your ability to cope with and manage stress.

It can reduce anxiety

There is lots of research out there that has shown that being active has a positive impact on mental health, including increasing self-esteem, lowering the risk of depression and slowing cognitive decline. Not only this but a study found that swimming significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain.

It boosts your brain health

A small study found that blood flow to the brain is increased when in water. Good blood flow to the brain is important for supplying it with glucose, nutrients and oxygen so a bonus benefit of swimming is that it boosts your brain health whilst maintaining physical health too!

It gives you time to clear your mind

The bottom of a swimming pool

Personally, I find swimming clears my head and allows me to forget about everything that may be causing stress and focus purely on my stroke, smashing those personal bests and having a good time. I often say that without swimming during my A-Levels I may have gone insane and I really do think it’s true. Swimming is a great way to just let go of the stress and relax.

Why not swim socially?

Of course, you can swim by yourself, but why not try swimming with friends, family and coursemates? It is a great way to add some more interaction into your week whilst also doing a fun activity that is good for your body and mind! Socialising is just as important for your mental health as exercise is.

Tips:

Many people swimming
  • Start small! If you are not a regular swimmer make sure that for your first few sessions you do small amounts and find your limits in a safe way
  • If you are nervous then ask a trusted person to go with you. In public swimming sessions, you can go with anyone you like. For lessons, if you need them, swimming pools should allow you to attend with a friend or support worker for the first few sessions whilst you get used to the surroundings
  • If you don’t regularly swim and the water is too cold, it could cause you to hyperventilate. It’s bests to test the temperature by dipping a toe in before getting in fully!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you are interested in swimming in Lincoln then check out the swimming society for social and competitive teams or Yarborough Leisure centre. Happy swimming!

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the sofa”

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