Swimming Regularly Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Around half a million adults who have a mental illness and swim regularly reported fewer visits to a medical professional regarding their mental illness.
From this, a YouGov poll was undertaken by Swim England of 1.4 million adults across the UK. The results showed that there was a positive effect on their depression or anxiety when swimming once every two to three weeks. When breaking the poll down further 43 per cent stated that they felt happier, 26 per cent felt more motivated and 15 per cent felt that it helped to manage the struggles of daily life.
So why is this the case?
According to the NHS there has always been good links between an increase in activity leading to lower rates of depression due biological factors such as a reduction in inflammation within the body as well as exercise enhancing self esteem or psychological factors. As a result of this the national guidelines for exercise advises people to complete 150 minutes of activity a week within a moderate to vigorous range with swimming being one of the most popular.
Another reason why swimming has shown to decreased anxiety and depression is that it causes the body to take long slow deep breaths linking in with rhythmical body movements creating an almost meditative state. The buoyancy of the water is especially inviting to the older generation as there is less stresses and strains through the joints likely resulting in a reduced amount of pain, linking back to those psychological factors causing an increase in positive feelings and self-esteem.
Swimming is so accessible and is on the rise as an activity to reduce anxiety and depression since it can be undertaken at any pace and age at any time of the day.