Why Swimming Improves Your Mental Health

Mental Health and Why Swimming

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.

A large body of research has confirmed exercise and specially swimming can improve our mental state and put us in a better mood.

Unfortunately, daily busyness of life, specially spending long hours working from home post COVID-19, has resulted into a drop in physical activity level of people. But, there is no question over regular daily activity is needed to stay healthy in our minds.

Swimming is an all-body work out.

When you swim, the major muscle groups are working simultaneously and like other endurance exercises like running, it is a good way to exercise lungs and heart as well as muscles.

Although swimming is an aerobic activity, swimming is unique in so many different ways to other exercise.

Why You Need To Swim to Keep Your Mind Healthy

Aerobic exercises like running, cycling, walking and dancing are all good for mental health.

But, swimming is like dance, so, it’s more than just moving your arms and legs to increase your heart rate. Swimming is very therapeutic regardless of age.

Science tells us that being  in and around water in general makes up happier and more creative. If you are swimmer and reading this, I have no doubt that you must agree how relaxed you feel after every swimming session compared to other activities like cycling or running.


A father and daughter swimming together and relaxing in water


But, why swimming is so relaxing?

  1. Swimming is defined a continuous movement in water, and like other types of physical activity, it connects body and mind.  Holistic connection that swimming can create for body and mind,  has its own mental health benefits
  2. The buoyancy that your body experiences in water relaxes your mind too.  It is almost like being able to move without the limitations of gravity. Buoyancy eases the pressure of body and mind.
  3. All parts of your body; head, neck, back and limbs, can move more freely in water in all directions (front, back, up, down, and side to side). In water there are less restrictions on how we move.  The free but well-patterned movement in swimming  provides a physical embodiment experience.
  4. Swimming continuously is impossible without deep breathing. Continuous inhalation and exhalation is a ‘must’ in order to swim a fair distance. It is not possible to do distance swimming with shallow breathing. A research by Harvard University showed, deep breathing practices helps people to be more relaxed and reduces anxiety. So, there is no wonder after a swimming session, everyone feels more relaxed and energised.
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A swimmer is practising Deep breathing during swimming

A very common feedback from parents over the years that I have heard is about how clam and relaxed children are after their swimming lessons with us.

Science has much to say about why we feel so relaxed and positive after swimming, although more research is always needed. Studies have shown swimming reduces anxiety and depression.

Nonetheless, every swimming experts would tell you that water and swimming, either in the pool or in the sea, are indeed very beneficial for the mind, regardless of the age.

Keep Swimming For the Sake of Your Mental Health

By the way, if you need to ask any swimming questions, we are here. Call 0208 090 1415 or

This article was written and published on 23/02/2024 by Marjan Moosavi. For any enquiries, please email:info@bluewaveswim.co.uk or go to contact page.

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