Swimming is an excellent exercise to get the body moving and increase your heart rate. It exercises your entire body, is low-impact, and is a lot more soothing than working out for over an hour in a spin class. This makes swimming one of the best exercises that promote mental and physical well-being.
Several research studies have been conducted by scientists to assess the mental health benefits of swimming on people. Along with the physical benefits of increased strength and aerobic capacity, it enhances the mental framework of a person by improving willpower, dedication, and the ability to work in a team.
Ways swimming benefits your mental health
Regular swimming has a profoundly favourable effect on a person’s mental well-being. It can be used as a powerful medication to treat mental diseases like depression, anxiety, and much more. There are numerous benefits to swimming, including:
Improves brain health
When you immerse yourself in water, the flow of blood to your brain is increased. Increased blood flow results in increased levels of glucose, oxygen, and other nutrients. This helps to improve cognition, memory, and concentration in general. Proper blood flow to the brain is also important to safeguard it from numerous harmful toxins and keep it healthy.
Swimming helps to raise the concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. This is a special protein in the spinal cord and brain that aids in the expansion, survival, and upkeep of neurons. Swimming also helps in raising the concentration of BDNF, which results in improved memory, mood regulation, and cognition.
Since swimming is a horizontal exercise, you will get all the benefits regardless of the depth of the water you are swimming in.
Releases good chemicals
When you are swimming, your body releases a lot of endorphins. These are hormones produced by the body as a response to pain or stress. They perform the function of a painkiller or analgesic. The endorphins work in combination with the opiate receptors in the brain to lessen the sense of pain. When your body secretes both serotonin and endorphins, you feel a general sense of well-being, positivity, self-worth, satisfaction, and happiness. This phenomenon of feeling euphoric is called “runner’s high.”
Swimming also improves the secretion of other important neurotransmitters like dopamine and noradrenaline. The release of these “feel-good” chemicals in the brain will make you better equipped to deal with stress.
Swimming is often recommended as a morning exercise, mostly since the good hormones released during this time can uplift a person’s mood for the entire day and greatly enhance their productivity.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Overwhelming stress can severely hamper the daily functioning of a human being, resulting in mental and physical health issues. Swimming is an excellent method to soothe the mind, minimise stress, reduce anxiety, and relax the body. The stress and anxiety levels of people generally increase due to worrying about work, studies, or mundane family affairs. When you swim, it becomes easier to push these things out of your mind. You will be focused on the various aspects of your swim, like the number of laps completed, the breathing pattern, or swimmers in your proximity. Swimming will help you to release every negative emotion and enable you to feel rejuvenated. It is also an exercise known to have a meditative effect on people.
Several studies have shown that swimming regularly can reduce the incidence of anxiety and depression. It also aids the process of hippocampal neurogenesis. This is the process of the creation of new brain cells. This means that swimming can help to reverse the brain damage that may have been caused due to prolonged severe stress.
Effect of blue colour
Blue is considered a calming colour, which is why we find the sea and the sky on a gorgeous day soothing. Pale blue hues are known to help with calming the mind and improving concentration. Since most of the swimming takes place in blue waters, it will help you to feel healthier and happier. This peace and calm people experience near water is termed “Blue Mind.” According to this concept, humans are attracted to blue spaces naturally. Due to this, working out in blue waters will automatically lower anxiety and stress and increase levels of happiness.
Humans are social animals. We thrive on constant communication with the people around us. Even though swimming can be done as a solitary exercise, many Brisbane swimming pools encourage swimmers to interact. This will help you meet with like-minded and compatible individuals to share swimming tips, experiences, and guidance.
Socialising while swimming can have a positive effect on your self-esteem and confidence. Since socialising improves the cognitive function of the brain, swimming will also boost your brain health. According to numerous studies conducted by scientists, when swimming and socialising go hand in hand, it reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Adequate and restful sleep is extremely crucial for the mental and physical well-being of an individual. One of the main causes that interfere with the sleep quality of adults is stress. Many adults with high levels of stress sleep less than the required amount of eight hours every night. Lack of sleep can cause numerous health issues like depression, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. Sleep deprivation can also hamper your concentration, memory, and cognitive skills. Swimming daily, for about 30 minutes, is an excellent way to ensure a good night’s sleep. This will, in turn, reduce your stress.
Swimming is a great way to improve the mental health of adults and kids alike. It is beneficial to the body and mind and can aid the overall development of a human being. Spending around 30 minutes every day in a swimming pool can do wonders for your mental health. People struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental issue can use swimming as a therapeutic exercise to manage their condition. It can also help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by improving their focus, memory, and concentration.