Taking a dip – the psychological & health benefits
Any exercise is good exercise but swimming is especially good for individuals of any fitness level and provides not only physical benefits, but also social and psychological ones.
Physically ”swimming is a great full body work out” says swimming expert Glen Heidke, and if done on a regular basis can improve cardio-vascular fitness, muscular endurance and strength.
One of the most fantastic things about swimming is that it is open to everyone, all ages, all sizes and all levels meaning that if you are comfortable with banging out 100 laps at 6 in the morning before work then great, but if you would rather paddle or improve your stroke at your own pace then that’s also great.
It is also a good way to warm up for those who already have well established exercise routines and equally can be used to cool down, recover and relax the body after a tough exercise session.
However, physical fitness is not the only reason health experts covet swimming as it is also known for its social and psychological benefits, providing individuals with the opportunity to interact and socialise with other swimmers at group swims and training sessions for instance.
Getting into a pool puts our body into a totally different environment to what it is used to. In the water we have to use our body in a different way and many find this an extremely soothing and relaxing experience as it gives us a work out but without putting our body under too much stress or strain.
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