6 ways swimming helps better your mental wellbeing

19 May 2022 08:57AM by Donna Collins - Head of Family

adult swim

Last week, we celebrated both International Learn to Swim Week and Mental Health Awareness Week. With these two key dates coinciding, it got us thinking about how positive swimming can be for your mental wellbeing. Everyone loves a soak in the sunshine but there’s more to swimming than summer holidays. Here are 6 ways that those dips in the water help your mental wellbeing… 


Releases feel good hormones 

You’ve probably heard of endorphins being released during exercise and the same goes for swimming! Whether you do laps or enjoy something more leisurely, your brain releases feel-good endorphins which combat feelings of stress, improve your overall mood, increase your positivity and bring a sense of wellbeing. 

Reduces stress and anxiety 

At times, you may find you need a more relaxing sport than something like Boxing or Grid Training. That’s completely normal and swimming might be your answer. That’s because being in the water takes your mind away from any daily stresses you may have. A gentle lap in the pool can be a great way to relax your mind and body and you can swim at a pace that suits you.  

Improves your self esteem 

Whatever your fitness goals may be, with swimming targeting your entire body you’ll see fantastic results as you improve your pace and ability in the water. Swimming can also help you reach other fitness goals you may have in different workout classes, such as increasing your stamina or strength.  

It helps you sleep better 

We all know how important sleep is for allowing your mind to recharge. As a full body workout, swimming is a great way to help your mind wind down at night. You’ll feel almost all of your muscles being used even during a brief swim, and the energy used during your sessions can also be enough to tire you out for a good night’s sleep! 

Allows you to socialise with others 

Sometimes, social sports can seem a bit intimidating when it comes to playing in teams as people have different physical fitness levels. Swimming is one of the few sports that is accessible to many different people and there are always new things to learn so you’ll always find yourself improving. Joining swim clubs (like ours) or taking part in swimming galas are also really fun ways to meet like-minded people and you can all share your love for the water together!  

Blue is a calming colour 

This hasn’t been completely scientifically proven yet, but it’s thought that blue is a calming colour; just think of the sky or sea on a nice day! Some research has also shown that being near or in a body of water can be relaxing as you’re more connected with nature which is always an excellent way to disconnect for a few hours and focus on your wellbeing. Why not give it a try? 

If you’re looking to de-stress this week, why not head down to your local Virgin Active club for a dip in the pool and forget about your worries for a while? Try an Aqua class with us or simply swim at your own leisure, just in time for the warmer weather ahead!  
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