You don’t need to be an expert to understand why most people swim: swimming is fun! There’s something uniquely exhilarating about moving through the water, whether it’s with a stroke carefully perfected over time or simply a dog paddle. We swim because we love it.
But for many of us, there are also other key reasons to swim aside from cooling off on a hot day. We swim because it improves our quality of life in measurable ways. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, swimming helps us become stronger, healthier people. Here’s how.
Swimming promotes physical health.
Swimming is as an aerobic activity, which is an exercise that strengthens the heart and lungs. How much do you need to swim in order to see benefits? Two and a half hours of moderate swimming each week (think 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) is enough to reduce your chance of developing illnesses such as Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
You gain these health benefits even if you break your swimming up into sessions that are only 10 or 15 minutes long! For reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minute sessions of moderate to intense exercise, three or our days a week.
Swimming promotes mental and emotional health.
Studies have shown that swimming can improve mood in both men and women. (Not that you needed a peer-reviewed paper to tell you that swimming makes you feel happier.) It’s also been shown to decrease both depression and anxiety. Those 30 minutes, 5 days a week mentioned earlier? They’re not just good for your body.
They also improve the quality of your sleep, reduce your stress levels, and make you feel more alert during the day. And there are so many stories from people who feel that swimming was a key factor in turning their mental health around for the better, or even that it saved their life.
Swimming offers health benefits for all kinds of people.
Everyone knows it’s important to stay active, but it’s not always easy to follow through. Pain, fatigue, and lack of mobility lead many people to decide that exercise just isn’t for them. But swimming isn’t just for hale and hearty athletes!
For people with arthritis, for example, (including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) swimming is a way to exercise that minimizes painful impact to the joints. It can also reduce pain and improve quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. For those who can’t participate in traditional swimming for one reason or another, water aerobics, water walking, and water-based physical therapy are all opportunities to grow healthier and stronger through aquatics.
Just getting started on your swimming journey?
Welcome to the club! Swimming doesn’t require much to get started, just a safe pool or body of water and a little bit of gear to help keep you comfortable. Born to Swim is committed to providing high-quality swim accessories you can count on. Dive into our shop to find out more.