Swimming as a Regular Exercise and Stress ReducerLast updated: November 22, 2018
Let’s Talk About Stress
Stress can have significant effects on a person’s mood, body, and mind. It affects how a person thinks, feels and navigates their relationships with others. It can also affect their appetite and how they sleep. The reasons people feel stress include job pressure, health, finances, sleep deprivation and even traffic (Houstonians get this!) among a host of other reasons.
Stress in Children
Children too can experience stress. Feelings of stress in children come from a variety of different sources. These sources can be both internally and externally driven. Children may feel pressure to succeed at school, to fit in with their peers, and to excel at a sport or many sports. Children may also feel stress due to social media trends, family dynamics such as the divorce of parents and other significant life-changing events such as a move or processing a death in the family.
With the rigors of modern-day life, it is likely that stress will exist and have more and more of a negative impact unless proper coping skills are in place. One of the proven-and admittedly-fun ways of getting ahead of stress is exercise, specifically, a good swim.
Swimming Eases Stress
Swimming is a great form of regular exercise that works for different muscle groups simultaneously without placing too much strain on your bones and joints. Swimming does that for your body all while relieving stress! In addition to being a stress reliever, the best part about swimming is that it can be enjoyed by almost anyone: babies, toddlers, women expecting, elderly people, people with physical challenges and those with special abilities.
Engaging in a regular exercise like swimming will help decrease feelings of stress. This exercise will increase blood flow to the brain and aid in the production and release of serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that improve mood and naturally allow a person to feel happier.
Swimming can also help reduce stress through distraction, social interaction, and self-efficacy. When your body hits the water, you are more focused on body movement, swimming technique and people around you in the pool. Even before your body releases the feel-good hormones, the distraction from the stressors is welcome.
In addition to being a great stress reliever, there are many other reasons to swim regularly!
1. Works out the entire body
Swimming is an exercise that works the whole body by targeting multiple muscle groups. Swimming helps tone muscles, build endurance and increase strength. As you become a more advanced swimmer you can learn all four strokes including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Each stroke has a unique impact on different sets of muscle groups ensuring that a full body works out happens. Swimming also helps burn calories which can aid in weight loss. This helps with another common childhood medical challenge, diabetes and childhood obesity.
2. Strengthens your internal organs
Another benefit of swimming regularly is that swimming aids in raising your heart rate without placing undue stress on the organ. Swimming can literally make your heart stronger. Swimming can also improve the strength of your lungs by expanding your lung capacity. Swimming and it impacts on the body also extends to your internal functioning helping to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. Perfect for everyone
Swimming is one of the few physical activities that is acceptable for people with bodily hindrances and other physical challenges such as Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cerebral Palsy, to name a few. Swimming is low impact and is generally safe as it decreases the amount of strain put on the muscles and joints. Swimming is known to help reduce pain and can even help with recovery from an injury.
4. Life-saving skill
Unlike other sports, swimming is considered a necessity because it is a life-saving skill. Knowing how to swim and being a strong swimmer can give you peace of mind to enjoy everyday summer activities while still using caution.
5. Instill social skills
While swimming is largely an individual sport it can also be a very group friendly experience. Children who take group swim lessons will have the opportunity to learn from their classmates. Children who choose to join a swim team and compete will have the opportunity to build lasting bonds with their teammates. The ability to swim also lends itself to a lifetime of social activities such as boating on the lake, pool parties, surfing, and enjoying water parks.
6. Improves Sleep
Who wouldn’t love a solid night of sleep when you have children?! Regular swimming is an excellent way to ensure a good night’s sleep for both the parents and the child! The level of physical exertion used when swimming can lead to welcome exhaustion and ultimately help combat ruminating thoughts or insomnia. It also comes in handy when you have an extremely energetic child.
6. Fun and enjoyable
Swimming is a fun way to break up the monotony of home and school life for your young ones. Most kids enjoy splashing in the water and rarely consider it exercises or a chore. You can spend a hot afternoon in the pool playing games, celebrating birthdays at the pool or enjoying a day at the beach or lake.
7. Excellent family time activity
Lastly, swimming is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family! Everyone can partake in this activity that is sure to reduce stress and leave you feeling better than before. The whole family can get their regular exercise while enjoying each other’s company and having fun. All family members can join the fun, from parents and children to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The list of benefits achieved from swimming is endless. You may be asking yourself at this point, how do I get started?
The first step is to find a swim facility near you. It is advisable to tour several facilities before committing to one. Things to consider while touring various facilities include safety standards, cleanliness, accessibility, customer service and attention to detail. Once you have settled on a facility reach out and see what you can do to get registered!
Now that you have decided on the ideal facility the real fun begins! The swimmers will get to come to a bright, fun, welcoming and engaging facility!
What’s the bottom line? Swimming can regularly reduce stress as well as add other countless benefits to your health and lifestyle. The key is getting started! With swimming, chances are once you start, you will not want to stop. So how about shopping around for a perfect facility this weekend or sooner and take it from there? Swimming is no doubt an activity you will enjoy with your family that can help you all relieve stress and stay fit for life!