5 Benefits of Swimming for Mental Health and Wellbeing
We’ve all heard of the many benefits that exercise has on our body, but what about our mental health and wellbeing? Today, more than ever parents and children are feeling stressed, tired and often lonely. Whilst we don’t have all the answers to overcome these feelings, we do know that swimming is a great way to escape our busy lives and has a positive impact on our mental health and well-being.
Here are five benefits of swimming for mental health and wellbeing:
1. Reduces Stress
When we’re stressed, our respiratory muscles tense up, which can leave us short of breath. Swimming forces us to focus on deep breathing and concentrate on our movements. Swimming is also a fun and effective way to relieve stress. Being in contact with water can help to loosen up both body and mind.
2. Releases Endorphins (happy hormones)
Swimming, like all exercise, releases endorphins in the brain. These are natural feel-good hormones that increase positivity and bring about a sense of wellbeing and happiness. It also releases serotonin, a natural mood stabilizer, and ANP, a stress-reducing hormone.
3. Calming Effects
It’s thought that swimming is a particularly good way to relax your body, soothe your mind and reduce anxiety. For those suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder), swimming pools provide a calming effect that can help improve the quality of life for adults and children who suffer from this disorder. Approximately 11% of children are diagnosed each year with ADHD and about 4.4% of adults.
4. Boosts Brain Health
A study found that just being in water increases blood flow to the brain. A healthy blood flow to the brain is important for supplying it with oxygen, glucose and nutrients and protecting it from harmful toxins. For adults living with conditions such as dementia, swimming is a great way to improve memory, focus and concentration.
5. Reduces Risk of Depression
A new study has found that Young Irish women are suffering the highest levels of depression among their generation in Europe. Physical activity such as swimming can lead to a 30% improvement in self-worth, increasing general satisfaction in life. Even just half an hour at a time, is known to be effective for lowering incidences of depression and anxiety and improve sleep patterns.
We’d love to know, what positive impact has swimming had on you and your child’s mental health and wellbeing?