Mental health benefits of swimming

Mental health benefits of swimming

To enjoy good health, one must first be disciplined and control one’s own mind.

What is mental health?

Just as we have physical health, we have mental health too. The mind defines good mental health as being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life.

But if you experience a period of poor mental health, you might find thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible to cope with. This may feel just as bad as a physical illness.

But… did you know that approximately one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year? Thus, learning how to deal with mental health is key!

Mental health benefits of swimming

How can swimming improve mental health?

When you are physically active, it will naturally have a positive impact on your mental health too! It can help improve your mood, increase your self esteem, lower the risk of depression, slow dementia down, improve sleep and reduce stress.

According to a British survey, swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Adults with mental health problems have stated that the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health has reduced as a result of swimming.

Swimming and dipping yourself in the water reduces stress and relaxes your body. Boost your self-esteem and confidence by swimming like a fish!! You will feel more energised and feel good about yourself!

Swimming is a form of cardio that causes oxygenated blood to be pumped more effectively around the body. The greater the blood flow, the more oxygen the brain receives. In other words, the better your brain works, the better the body will react.

Tips for swimmers with health problems

1. Start off small and build up your swimming levels at a pace that works for you. Even small amounts of swimming can give you a natural energy boost.

2. Ask someone you trust to help you get started. Swimming pools should allow you to attend with a friend or support worker for the first few sessions while you get used to the new surroundings.

3. Look for groups of like-minded people. Some swimming pools will have sessions aimed at improving well-being and for people with mental health problems.

Mental health benefits of swimming

How to be comfortable with your swimwear in the water?

Everyone faces the embarrassing phase when they want to go into the water and usually we would prefer to be in attire that we are comfortable in.

Just some advice for the first-time swimmers! It might be better to go initially with only male or only women sessions to be more comfortable with the people.

You can also cover yourself by wearing water t-shirts and loose swim shorts for men, and/or fully-covered swimsuits for women in order to be comfortable in the water.

Few pools also allow you to bring your own bathrobes or towels to cover yourself before or after a swim.

Mental health benefits of swimming

Pro-tip for beginners!

- Start slowly and understand the water first, try to splash around and move from one end to another or just walk in the water

- Body temperature is a necessary part of it and plays an important factor while in the water. Waters are initially cold in the morning hours and it does take some time to adjust.

- Take deep, slow breaths when you take a break or after a set number of laps/lengths to help reduce the likelihood of you starting to hyperventilate.

- If you experience anxiety or panic attacks you might find swimming can cause some sensations which may feel like you’re having a panic attack. These include being unable to catch your breath or breathlessness, raised heart rate, feeling shaky or dizzy.

For a healthier lifestyle, start practicing swimming!

In conclusion, swimming is one of the best forms of exercises for mental and physical benefits.

Stretching your muscles and developing a rhythmic breathing pattern which can release mental, emotional and physical stress.

I have liked swimming all my life and have been swimming for my mental and physical stability. It keeps me balanced, clears my head and helps me to sleep properly.