After a session of swimming, most people feel refreshed, energized, and significantly happier. Part of this is because swimming is an excellent workout that trains all the muscle groups in the body, resulting in countless health benefits. But more than just improving your physical fitness, swimming provides a myriad of benefits to one’s mental and psychological well-being.
Swimming is a great way to relieve stress. Being in the water is a relaxing sensory experience that helps one clear the mind from anxiety and tension. The weightlessness you feel in the water helps you unwind and block out stressful stimuli. Whether your languorously floating about, or vigorously doing laps under water, the experience can be incredibly meditative. In fact, swimming has a lot of similarities to yoga. Both exercises involve stretching the muscles in repeated turns while synchronizing them with deep breathing.
Learning how to swim also helps personal development, giving you confidence and self-esteem. Aside from the ego boost one gets from having a swimmer’s build, the ability to master swimming techniques gives you a sense of accomplishment.
For children and teenagers, knowing how to swim feels validating as it allows them to be included and to do well in water based activities when their peers are doing them.
Another reason why swimming is so beneficial for the mind and psyche is a simple one: swimming is fun. The recreational value of swimming energizes people and fosters a positive state of mind. In terms of healthy social interaction, swimming is great because it’s an enjoyable and uplifting activity you can do with family and friends. When swimming in community pools, school pools, or at the beach, you can even make new friends and meet new acquaintances.
A lot of the psychological benefits of swimming workouts are grounded by scientific research. Aerobic exercise in general, may it be swimming, running, jumping jacks, or biking, is already scientifically proven to relieve depression. But according to studies, swimming decreases tension and other negative feelings more than other types of exercises do. When you swim, your body releases endorphins, which are the natural neurochemicals that fight against stress and pain. So the next time you’re feeling blue, you may just need to take a dip and swim it off.