No matter what your fitness level, the benefits of swimming are well established.
Just 30 minutes of swimming three times a week alongside a balanced diet and lifestyle is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy and maintain a positive mental attitude. Swimming regularly can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your sleep patterns. You can get all of these benefits even from just a light swim. Here are our top tips.
1. Swimming helps to manage weight
Expect to burn around 367 calories after just 30 minutes of breaststroke – that beats walking, cycling and even running. The Calorie Cruncher on the Swim England site swimming.org can tell you how many calories your preferred swimming stroke burns.
2. Swimming reduces stress levels and raises self-esteem
According to a survey of 4,000 swimmers undertaken by Speedo, 74 per cent agreed that swimming releases stress and tension, 68 per cent said that being in the water helped them to feel good about themselves and 70 per cent felt mentally refreshed after swimming.
3. Swimming boosts your mood
Another study showed that swimmers, no matter what level, were less prone to tension, depression, anger and confusion when they’ve been swimming. It means that novice and amateur swimmers can feel just as good as the professionals, thanks to the release of the feel-good hormone serotonin after swimming.
4. Swimming strengthens muscles
The resistance of water can be 44 times greater than air, meaning you have to work harder to move through it. It’s like working out with weights or machines without the need for expensive equipment, which makes swimming an affordable way to strengthen your muscles.
5. Swimming is low-impact exercise
You’re only bearing about 10 per cent of your weight when you swim due to the buoyancy of water. With greater ease of movement and less strain on bones, joints and muscles, swimming has a lower risk of injury than many other forms of exercise.
6. Swimming improves your sleep
People who undertake vigorous exercise such as swimming are around twice as likely to say they had a good night’s sleep, according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation. They’re least likely to report sleep problems, with most avoiding problems like insomnia and waking too early.
7. Swimming is sweat-free
As a swimmer, you’ll never get overheated or feel sweaty because the water around you is constantly cooling you down.
8. Swimming lowers risk of heart disease
Not only is swimming kind to your heart and a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it’s also shown to control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. So by swimming regularly, you’re less likely to develop illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
9. Read all about it!
Swim England have a great calorie cruncher app, plus other articles on how swimming can help arthritis and many other health conditions. Click here to read more.