10 Perks of Recreational Swimming on the Mind and Body

recreational swimming

For many people, the thought of swimming inspires flashbacks to salt-flavored beach days and tiny backyard pools. Why is it so difficult to imagine making swimming a part of your health and fitness routine as an adult? You don’t need to be Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky to get something out of a dip in the pool!

Even casual, recreational swimming can have impressive benefits for both your body and your mind.  More importantly, swimming is a blast! Adding some H20 to your life might be the easiest way to bolster your physical and mental health while having fun!

You can glean all the benefits of swimming at The Wave Aquatic and Fitness center in Whitefish, MT. Read on to learn about ten ways that swimming can make a difference in the way you feel on a daily basis.

1. Swimming Makes You Flexible

You might not think about it this way, but all swimming is stretching! To move in the pool, you must push your entire body against a gentle source of resistance—the water! With each kick and stroke, you are lengthening your muscles and working on building up your flexibility.

2. Swimming Uses Energy

Weight loss works when a body burns more calories than it consumes. In essence, if you use more energy through exercise than you get from food, you will steadily lose weight. Swimming uses up a great deal of energy, making it one of the most efficient ways to slim down and lower your BMI.

Of course, casual, recreational swimming will not burn quite as many calories as a more intense aquatic workout. For the most bang for your buck, consider one of the swimming fitness classes offered at The Wave. They will not only improve your overall health, but they’ll also teach you how to swim better!

3. Swimming Builds Endorphins

Did you know that you don’t need to be a runner to experience a runner’s high? A runner’s high is what happens when the body releases hormones called endorphins after exercise. You can build endorphins just as easily after a rigorous swim, and reap all the same benefits for your mood!

In essence, when your brain releases endorphins, you will experience an overall happy feeling. This has proven to be beneficial for individuals suffering from mood disorders such as depression. It’s an all-natural way to experience a mental health boost!

4. Swimming Builds Bone Mass

Scientists have found that swimming, as well as other forms of exercise, can have a positive benefit for your bones! Swimming increases both bone mass and bone mineral density. That means your bones will be healthier and more resistant to fractures, breaks, and other injuries.

Research into why and how this happens is ongoing. Regardless, the health benefits of swimming on overall physical health are numerous.

5. Swimming Reduces Stress

You may have heard about the relaxing benefits of yoga, which involves lots of stretching. Remember perk #1? Because so much of swimming is stretching, you can experience many of the same stress-reducing benefits after a swim.

Swimming is also focused on breath control—another element that yoga practitioners focus on. Rhythmic breathing also leads to a reduction in stress. The combination of stretching and breathwork leads to a level of relaxation that you can’t find in many other sports.

6. Swimming Builds Muscles

Swimming is one of the rare forms of exercise that utilizes every single part of the body. You work out your arms, legs, and core every single time you jump in the pool, for fitness or pleasure! This makes it one of the best overall aerobic workouts for building muscle strength.

Even so, swimming is a gentle form of exercise. Even though you are stretching your muscles, you are not likely to sustain an injury in the process. It’s an excellent way for older adults to build a defined physique safely.

7. Swimming Is Meditative

Meditation is the practice of focusing inward. It is a practice that helps you learn to clear your mind and be present in the moment. Swimming, as an act of focus, is meditative for many people.

During swimming, you will focus on the sound of the water in the pool and the breath in your lungs. You will continue to propel your body forward, living one stroke at a time. So many swimmers find that they are more present in the pool than anywhere else.

Meditation has benefits for stress reduction and positive mood. This is one of the great benefits of joining swimming fitness groups, such as the ones offered at The Wave!

8. Swimmers Live Longer

You don’t need to dive into the fountain of youth to expand your lifespan by swimming! Researchers from the University of South Carolina researched the effect of swimming on mortality. What they found was that swimmers had a 50% lower rate of death than others, including runners.

Maybe it’s related to the many health benefits of swimming. Maybe there are fewer opportunities for collisions and accidents in the pool versus on the road. Whatever the case, swimming might be the thing that adds a few extra years to your lifespan!

9. Swimming Builds Memory

One of the most interesting physical benefits of swimming is an overall reduction in inflammation. That includes inflammation in the brain, which can directly lead to the growth of new brain cells. This leads to improved memory function and thinking skills in individuals who swim regularly!

10. Swimmers Are More Confident

Researchers from Griffith University found that swimmers often have more confidence than non-swimmers. They found this to be true whether you are swimming competitively or recreationally.

The study tells us that these benefits were especially evident in children who swim. Why don’t you bring your little one along the next time you’re coming down to The Wave? They can gain all of these benefits right at your side!

Recreational Swimming and More at The Wave!

Science tells us that swimmers are in great shape both physically and mentally. Even recreational swimming can lead to less stress, improved mood, and better overall health. You can experience all of these benefits and more through regular visits to The Wave in Whitefish!

Are you ready to jump in and make a splash? Take a look at our program schedule and then pay us a visit! From open swim to water aerobics, The Wave has a session that will get your blood pumping and your brain working!