Read On for all the Benefits of Swimming for Mental Health!
Our Swim Activator at our Goldenstones Leisure Centre, Emilie talks about how good swimming is for your mental health
Mental health has, in recent years, become a topic of conversation due to the increase in diagnoses’ and the raise in awareness and openness to talk about the illness. Swimming is not a cure but there are a number of positive benefits and effects swimming can help with. In this blog we will cover a few of them, but always remember if you are feeling low contact a medical professional, and don’t forget there is always a listening ear, within all our sites staff are friendly and approachable
The physical benefits of swimming are limitless. Swimming is a full body work out, fantastic for cardio training, toning, flexibility, stamina, as well as being a low-impact workout which is great for those recovering from injury or with joint pain. It works the whole body without the participant feeling the strain, and for those who are self conscious, being underwater makes you feel lighter, and the cover of the water surface acts as a fitness invisibility cape for anyone who is body conscious, the water removes the worry of sweat patches many people become self-conscious of
However the mental benefits are just as good as the physical benefits. Mental health is a vital part of leading a healthy and well balanced life. Swimming has a multitude of positive effects on the mind as well as the body…
Swimming offers you the freedom to escape from the buzz of the world, giving you the unheard of chance to unglue from your phone/gadgets! Zone-out and focus on the motion of the water, and the weightlessness of your body. In a world where technology rules, finding timeout can often prove to be difficult, swimming allows for this and helps you focus on personal goals, offering you a chance to escape from the pressures of life. Set yourself targets to accomplish – remember always make realistic goals and if you need help or guidance all LED swimming pools have instructors at hand to give advice and support, should you request it. Come and try out any of our pools and feel the pressures of life float away.
Increase Brain Power
All cardio based fitness results in oxygenated blood being pumped more effectively around the body. The better the blood flow, the more oxygen your brain receives, in other words; the more effectively your brain works the better the rest of your body works. Daily tasks will feel easier to think about, complete, and concentration levels will increase.
Swimming = Brain Power!!
Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise; these trigger a positive feeling within the body similar to that of morphine. Exercising can become addictive due to this feeling of positivity, these electric pulses that run through your nervous system have also been proven to reduce the intensity of pain sensed by the brain.
Teamed up with a balanced diet and a regular exercise you will feel the benefits run through you body from tip to toe. Goal setting will also help boost the feeling of positivity e.g. achieving a mile stone of a 1k swim, or simply completing a full Aquafit class without stopping. In that euphoric moment you will have an additional boost of joy and sense of achievement. Join us today to start on your road to happiness.
Improve Self Esteem
Never underestimate the importance of looking after number one; being proud and feeling happy with YOU! A couple of changes to our outlook and lifestyle can sometimes help. The rewards and positive kick you get from personal achievement can be fantastic. Often interacting with other people can help increase self loving, with the encouragement and support from someone else, group classes or even instructor-led swimming lessons give you options to work along side other people and feel proud and share the fun.
Goal setting is a fantastic way to see your journey of development, goals in the pool can be set individually or with a friend e.g. increased distance or timed swims. SwimTag is a great option - you can race and challenge yourself against other swimmers without ever having to meet them! Often time alone is what people are searching for, swimming is one sport that can cater both ends of the scale. Get your toes back in the pool and start feeling the effects of self loving!
A large percentage of the population have highly stressful lifestyles; physical exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, enjoying exercising will double the rate in which your stress levels drop.
Swimming alone is great for this – dive in and power up and down the pool, burn off some calories, whilst letting go of any built up steam. Lowered levels of stress increase your energy meaning you will be able to feel like you can take on the world and improve your out look on life. An enjoyable group exercise class in the pool can also do the trick. Classes can vary from listening to club classics whilst doing jumping jacks across the pool, to a gentle swim whilst socialising with like-minded people. Laughter is a great way to release stress and tension, trying new things we will guarantee fun and laughter especially when in the water. Why not give the pool a go and wash the stresses of life away…
Improve Sleep Pattern
Not always, but tiredness and insomnia are common symptoms of mental health problems, when stress has been reduced sleep becomes easier. Getting your body into a regular routine will help you unwind before bed. Exercising at least once in the day can dramatically help with your sleep pattern, resulting in more energy throughout the day. An early morning swim can help you focus for the day ahead, 6.30am-8am is a very popular time for those people looking to start there day off on the right foot. On the other hand a swim in the evening is a great way to unwind and feel fresh ready for a great nights sleep, check your local pools timetable for evening schedules.
Come in for a swim and wave goodbye to counting sheep and say hello to a good nights sleep!
Anxiety and Depression
The rate of people becoming diagnosed with anxiety has rocketed in the last few years, with research showing that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed, and sadly 1 in 10 young people will develop a mental health condition. Remember talking and opening up to someone is a great start. Joining any group exercise class can be beneficial; you can bring a close friend or partner for support and company, as well as meeting new people from all walks of life. You will glow from the benefits of physical activity and the emotional comfort knowing that others are there to support you. With swimming you can choose a variety of group session which includes classes such as: Aquafit, Aqua Zumba, 50+, adults only, family hour (swimming is a fantastic activity to spend quality family fun time together). There are adult swimming lessons to help any one looking to learn to swim or bush up on old skills. Here at LED our teachers & instructors are full of support, patents and encouragement. Alternatively you can opt to swim solo; LED has something on offer to suit everybody’s needs - from beginner swimmers to advance competitors.
Although it is not a cure, exercises in any form can seriously help ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, if you are feeling low contact your doctor or local health coach, there are numbers and contact details of people to speak to if you are feeling any signs of a mental health condition.
See the Benefits and Start to Glow!
Seeing the benefits of regular exercise can boost your self confidence, self belief, and give you the opportunity to be proud of yourself giving you a real sense of achievement. A progress diary will assist in reminding you how far you have come, as well as keeping track of where you are aiming. Regular swimming will help you burn calories and tone up but before you get there swimming often feels daunting to those who haven’t been for years. Here are a few tips to keep in mind…
Underwater you are lighter, and the cover of the water surface acts as a fitness invisibility cape for anyone who is body conscious. At all LED swimming pools you are able to walk to the pool with a towel or bath robe to cover you until you dip your toe in. There are a variety of swimwear options on the market that cover you and tuck you in in all the complimentary places for that extra boost of confidence. Check individual pools for clothing policies; but as long as your outfit does not restrict your swimming ability, affect other members of the public or interfere with the pool chemicals, most pools are very accommodating. The water also has the added benefit of removing the horror of sweat patches many people become self-conscious of when working out. Remember to take a bottle of water onto poolside as you will be sweating and losing fluids without realising, keep yourself hydrated.
Water is wonderfully versatile in aiding us with exercise and there is something for everyone, no matter your age or ability. Check your local pool for details of classes and pool space availability.
If you are worried about your mental health or anybody close to you below are contact details for charities and organisations that can offer help, guidance and a listening ear…
|Men’s Health Forum|
|Mental Health Foundation|
|Rethink Mental Health|