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4 ways swimming boosts your mental health

21st October 2020

Matt Sanders

Staying active is essential for your health, but staying mentally fit is just as important. Swimming is a route to both.

Marking World Mental Health Day earlier this month, Speedo is urging more of us to take the plunge and discover why swimming is so good for the mind, body and soul.

In collaboration with sports psychologists BelievePerform, Speedo has explored the reasons why being in the water is so mentally therapeutic.  

The link between swimming and positive mental health is well documented. According to a YouGov poll commissioned by Swim England, swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression in 1.4 million adults in the UK.

There’s also evidence showing the role cold water swimming can play in the fight against degenerative diseases like dementia.

But back to the pool… Here are four reasons why you should take up swimming to boost your mental health.

1 Mimicking mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation starts with the breath and focuses on the here and now. The action of swimming recreates these practices with its rhythmic breathing, controlled movement, and the chance to zone out of the things in life that cause stress or worry. This combination helps unite the body and brain and help with stress management – which has to be a good thing.

2 Anxiety busting

Swimming offers the perfect antidote to anxiety. By making the positive choice to go for a swim, you’re in control and can reduce the time spent worrying about what other people think. And if you’re using swimming as a way to get fitter and stronger, you can be confident that each stroke is a step towards your goal. Anything that helps you relax and put the world on hold is going to keep feelings of anxiety in check.

3 Mood enhancing

There’s no question about it: exercise gives you a natural high. You might feel tired after a swim, but that weariness is matched by a boost in endorphins and a sense of relaxation. Not only does this release of chemicals have a great impact on your mood, it also helps you feel more alert, focused and clear-headed.

4 Confidence boosting

One of the best things about swimming (and there are many) is how quickly you feel it’s making a difference. Each time you push yourself to swim a little further or a little faster, you give yourself another layer of confidence. Keeping track of this progress is a great way to strengthen your overall confidence and boost your self-esteem.

Going for a swim gives you a chance to escape from daily life and take time for yourself. At Paragon Structures, we’re working to give the UK’s aging stock of swimming pools an overhaul. Our swimming pool structures significantly reduce build time and costs compared to conventional methods. Plus, they’re durable, sustainable and offer an enhanced swimming experience.

We were commissioned by Swim England to produce a feasibility report detailing our vision for swimming spaces in the future – get in touch with the team to find out more.

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