Swimming and Your Mental Wellbeing

We all have some kind of fixation on water. Maybe because of its movement, the sounds and the feel of it. When you think of relaxation, many of us will conjure up thoughts of the waves crashing against the shore or a stream trickling over pebbles. The water seems to make us feel at ease and at one with the world and that makes us feel good. There is a science behind water and how it encourages calmness and peace but how does mental wellbeing and swimming go hand in hand?


Exercise releases endorphins

When we exercise, endorphins are released in the brain. These are hormones that make us feel good about ourselves while encouraging a positive attitude and that improves our happiness.

Swimming reduces stress 

Many of us lead stressful and hectic lives and that is why many find swimming a great way of de-stressing. There have been many studies that have identified how new brain cells are grown in parts of the brain which are often broken down after experiencing long-term stress. While this has only been tested in animals so far, there is a belief that it could stand true for humans. Therefore, there is every chance that swimming makes it easier for us to cope with stress.

Improves the health of the brain

It has been found that spending time in the water can improve the flow of blood to the brain. The study identified that blood flow increased when participants were put into water up to chest height, highlighting that water and swimming could have a positive impact on the health of the brain. Additional blood flow to the brain will improve oxygen levels and nutrient levels, which in turn, will protect it from damage from harmful toxins.

It soothes us

Swimming simply has a soothing effect on us and helps us to relax and ease the mind. The feeling of the water around us makes us feel at ease and many put that down to us experiencing the calmness of being in the womb.

Swimming can be a social experience

While swimming is an exercise you can carry out alone and when you want to, it means that you do not have to rely on others. However, health clubs and leisure centres are often hubs of social activity. Whether you chat to people in the pool, take part in a water aerobics class or meet up for a coffee afterwards, the social aspect of it can certainly improve your wellbeing.

The colour of the water

There is a belief that the colour of the water in a swimming pools can improve our mental wellbeing. Studies have been carried out and it is believed that he colour blue can have a calming effect on us. When you think of the blue sky and the bright blue sea, it makes us feel good and so, the same can be said about swimming pools. There is a term known as ‘biophilia’, which relates to the love of nature and the need to be around nature as well as forming a connection with it. This could be the reason why we love to be in and around the water.

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