The benefits of mental health and swimming are widely known. A few months ago, a YouGov study (commissioned by Swim England), found it reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain. Almost half (492,000) said swimming resulted in fewer visits to see a medical professional about their mental health. It also revealed nearly half a million people had stopped or reduced medication for their mental health due to swimming. When asked how swimming affected day to day life, 43% said it made them feel happier. The video below shows how swimming in a pool can have a positive impact on mental well being. You can also see how its made a difference to people like Wanda, Pam, Steve, Paul and Lindsay by watching their stories on the Swim England YouTube channel.
Physical activity can have a positive impact on mental health regardless of age or ability. It stimulates relaxation and reduces stress as well as being good for your heart. It's a great all round exercise which will make you feel stronger and healthier. It benefits the whole body and its an ideal way to strengthen your muscles. What's more if you mix up your strokes, you can target different parts of your body. Front crawl is great for the upper body and strengthening muscles in your back, abdomen and torso whereas breaststroke is good for the lower limbs. You can see our stroke technique videos and tips in this post.
Swimming releases endorphins in the brain as other forms of exercise do. But being in the water, whether at the pool or outdoors, can help you relax your body, clear your mind and reduce anxiety. Swimming is said to reduce stress more so than any other sport - it also boosts mood and brain health. In addition to the obvious benefits, swimming can keep your blood pressure low as well as reducing the risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. The environment can also help if you have asthma by helping breathing and lung capacity.
Swimming is one of the best ways to burn calories. A gentle 30 minute swim can burn twice as many calories as walking and a quicker longer swim can burn up to 500 calories per hour. Come on, let's go swimming!