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The joys of swimming

Updated: Feb 18

It was world wellbeing week last week. The experiences for people, over the past few years, have been challenging and have had a great impact on many of us, Sadly 1 in 6 children or young people have been diagnosed with mental health problems (source from website, Children and Young People’s mental health coalition). It is well known that the majority of adult mental illnesses will have most probably started in childhood. Therefore, addressing the causes early will be more successful in preventing them from continuing into adulthood. Taking care of yours and your children’s mental health and wellbeing is never more important than now. And being active has many positive impacts on your mental as well as physical wellbeing.

How can swimming help to improve mental health?

There are many benefits which both adults and children can experience:

Increases in self-esteem and self confidence

Having a healthy body image and mind is strongly correlated to high-levels of self esteem. If you feel good about your body and are able to deal with the ups and downs of life then you are more likely to have a higher sense of your worth or value. Those who swim also gain a real sense of achievement, especially children. Being successful and achieving goals, whether it is mastering a new stroke, swimming 25m or a 1,000m, will give you a strong sense of belief in yourself and help you to feel good about yourself. This will stand you in good stead for other parts of your life too.

Swimming regularly is a great all-round workout. It builds up your fitness and endurance. Also it builds up your muscles, strength and flexibility, so you will see a positive change in the shape of your body. Improved balance and posture will also be noticeable - another reason for you to feel good about yourself.

Lowers the risk of depression

During exercise everyone releases the feel good hormones such as dopamine or serotonin. Swimming has been shown to reduce stress-levels, improve sleep patterns and lower anxiety - all triggers of depression. The endorphin rush is a natural high and leads to a more positive mental attitude and therefore happiness. Just imagine how good you will feel spending 30minutes every couple of days a week in the swimming pool. Just being by water can have a calming effect on us all. How good do you feel when you are on holiday by the sea or swimming pool? I am sure the sunshine plays a part in your mood too.

Reduces anxiety

It is thought that swimming is a particularly good way to relax the body, sooth the mind and reduce anxiety. People who live closer to the coast have also reported to have higher-levels of good health and wellbeing (however, this research is limited as other factors may also play a part too).

The colour blue is often associated with calmness. It is always around us from the sky to the sea. Perhaps you have heard of the term biophilia - it means ‘the love of nature’. It explains about the inbuilt desire we have to be near and connected to nature. Perhaps this is why so many of us have such positive feelings when we are out in nature and near water. Do you have any special happy places where you can go to relax and rebalance yourself?

Being in the moment

When you are swimming you can’t help but be in the moment. The feeling of the water on your skin, concentrating on your breathing and the movement of your body as you glide through the water will give you the chance to stay present and enjoy the bodily sensations. By connecting your body with your mind you are able to be more aware of your emotions and feelings which helps you to consider your responses better to situations rather than just reacting.

I am sure there are many other benefits you have experienced from taking your children swimming, teaching them to swim or if you choose swimming as part of your exercise regime. Let us know how swimming helps you boost your mental health.

If you have children who are just starting out learning to swim then Mini Water Adventurers offers the Orca swim trainer which is a progress all-in-one swimming aid. It gives your little ones the independence to explore the water and start their swimming journey.



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