Extremely stressed at work? Got caught in a pile of debts? Just had a bad breakup and your emotions are all over the place? Maybe you just need a pool therapy or perhaps a dose of vitamin sea.
While swimming can’t solve all of your problems, the invigorating water workout can help put your mind and body at ease. Swimming is a great way to meditate. When your mind is racing at 200 kilometers per hour, a brief dip in the cold pool or sea can bring you back to a state of equilibrium.
Immersing yourself in the water helps relieve stress, keep your moods and energy levels at par, and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Ahead are five reasons why.
- Swimming gives you a break from life’s stream of unpleasant events
Swimming helps shut out external stimuli. Once you immerse yourself in the water, you cut off the sounds from the outside. You drown all your worries. Your mind drops from frantic overthinking about your career pressure, loan payments, and relationship problems to a steady rhythm. The focus is on your breathing and how you should navigate around the water. You feel nothing but the cool and soothing water against your skin.
Hydrotherapy has long been celebrated not only as a powerful way to heal aching muscles but also to balance moods. Everything you experience, from shutting out external noises to feeling the ease of water, is a form of moving meditation. Water has the power to lift your mood, leaving you free from physical and mental exhaustion.
2. Swimming techniques are therapeutic
Aside from the healing power of the water per se, the techniques like strokes and breathing patterns used can be meditative as well.
Swimming is essentially a combination of alternating muscle stretching and muscle relaxing and deep breathing in a rhythmic pattern. If you come to think of it, these are key elements of many practices used to evoke tension relief and calmness, like yoga and progressive muscle relaxation. Since swimming has a repetitive nature, it’s highly therapeutic.
3. Swimming stimulates brain chemicals for mood improvement
Ever wondered why you feel happier and more reinvigorated after a quick dip?
The rush of natural feel-good compounds is strong when you swim. Swimming stimulates the production of brain chemicals that boost the mood and outlook, like endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain, helping to relieve pain and induce feelings of euphoria. Dopamine, on the other hand, is a neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure centers of the brain.
Releasing these neurotrophic factors in the brain is helpful in managing stress and/or anxiety, and even combat some depressive symptoms.
4. Swimming is a source of stress relief
Stressed out? Wearing your best swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles, and plunging into the nearest swimming pool might be the best stress buster.
Endorphins can convert the excess “fight-or-flight” response into muscle relaxation when you swim. It can even promote the generation of new neurons in one part of the brain which has declined under chronic stress. The process is called “hippocampal neurogenesis.”
Swimming is a low-impact exercise
Any form of physical activity gets your heart pumping and your mood improving. What sets swimming apart from other exercises like cycling and running is its impact on your joints.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise. The buoyancy of the water in the pool or sea makes you feel weightless. When you don’t push your body too hard, like how you usually do on dry land, you get to enjoy what you do and repeat it until your physical and emotional well-being is greatly improved. It’s suggested to swim a few times a week.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in swim caps in the UK. While she’s fascinated in writing articles focused on sports fashion, health, and wellness, she swears to never give up pizza.