As we emerge from a pandemic, the benefits of swimming have never seemed more pertinent and appealing. Put simply, swimming is good for body and mind. But there’s more to swimming once you go below the surface and immerse yourself in the sport. It’s time to get moving, get the blood pumping, the natural endorphins flowing and feel good inside and out.
Friends of arena will already appreciate swimming improves your physical and mental health. It’s the perfect low impact exercise which takes stress off your body and joints while building flexibility, endurance, all-over muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Watersports can play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs, and is a critical part of many people’s rehabilitation from injury or pain management. And it’s a sport that is easy and accessible for people of all abilities, backgrounds and ages (there’s even evidence it may just lengthen your life!).
At the same time, swimming helps keep your mind focused and happy. It has even been proven to cure stress and all in all it’s a feel-good activity. Combining deep rhythmic breathing with a calm, meditative experience in the water helps reduce depression. Research has even shown that swimming can reverse damage to the brain from stress through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. So, if you feel like you’re drowning emotionally, jumping in an actual body of water may be exactly what you need to find your feel-good feet again.
And there’s even evidence that swimming makes you smarter! Research from Australia focused on kids who took swimming lessons compared to a control group of non-swimmers. The results showed that kids who regularly participated in swimming were able to master language development, fine motor skills, confidence, and physical development sooner than the control group. That’s not even mentioning the maths skills they practicing in training!
Finally, and just as importantly, watersports also allow us to connect more deeply with our communities – to make new friends or to reignite old relationships, to learn new skills and knowledge, or to support diverse initiatives or projects.
As life opens up again, it’s definitely time to dive back into the water.