How Does Swimming Affect the Brain & Body?

How Does Swimming Affect the Brain & Body?

If you’re on the hunt for an activity that’s good for both your body and mind, swimming is worthy of your consideration. Whether you casually swim in your custom outdoor pool for your own enjoyment or you do it competitively, it’s a form of exercise that can be good for you in many ways. Below, we put the spotlight on just what happens to your body and brain when you swim.

Swimming’s Top Physical Benefits

Physically, swimming is good for you because it stimulates all your key muscle groups at once. This happens as you move your legs, torso, and upper body to complete your preferred strokes. Swimming also effectively stimulates the heart and lungs, according to research cited by Harvard Health. It does so by encouraging steady, controlled breathing and boosting circulation.

Swimming can also be good for your body by:

• Keeping your joints sufficiently limber
• Strengthening the muscles that support your spine
• Increasing overall endurance and strength
• Complementing other types of exercise you do on land

Swimming is also a great way to keep your weight in check. In fact, reports swimming can burn anywhere from 200 calories per hour to more than 800 calories per hour, depending on the motions you’re making and how vigorously you’re swimming.

Water’s natural buoyancy is easier on joints, muscles, and other structures, which also helps with movement and motion. And if you have physical limitations on land, swimming can be a good way to get the exercise you need without added stress and strain.

Brain Perks Associated with Swimming

Swimming also provides a wealth of brain benefits, many of which are directly associated with the physical movements involved with this activity. For instance, swimming boosts the production of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins, which naturally relieve stress and boost your mood.

Swimming also benefits your brain by:

• Lowering anxiety and alleviating stress
• Reducing depression risk
• Increasing blood flow to the brain
• Possibly protecting the brain from dementia and other degenerative diseases, according to research reported by Cambridge University

Swimming can also be a social activity when it’s done with friends, teammates, and family members. These social benefits can be good for your brain and overall wellbeing, since humans are naturally social. Additionally, there’s some evidence suggesting the blue color of pool water is soothing in a way that positively affects mood.

For children, swimming could also help with important brain development milestones, according to a study conducted by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research. The study found children who started swimming early hit key cognitive development milestones, such as those measuring visual-motor skills and oral expression, sooner than their non-swimming peers.

Reaping the Body-Mind Benefits of Swimming

The good thing about swimming is that you can fit it into your life in a way that’s convenient and comfortable so you can reap the body-mind benefits mentioned here. Even just 30–60 minutes of swimming every day or every other day can be good for you physically, cognitively, and emotionally.

For people who are looking for the perfect way to boost their physical and mental fitness levels, swimming can be the ideal choice. As the SoCal region’s premier swimming pool installer, San Diego Pools can create a custom pool for you that offers a great way to exercise as well as a place to relax, de-stress, and get away from it all. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.

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