How Swimming can Improve your Mental Health

Wednesday, 10th October 2018

This October is the month of World Mental Health Day, a day which aims to increase awareness, educate people and tackle the stigma of mental health.

Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time and it’s estimated that one in six people will experience a common mental health disorder, such as depression and anxiety, in the UK alone.

The most common symptoms of depression and anxiety include feeling low, more anxious or agitated than usual and losing interest/motivation. Other symptoms include gaining or losing large amounts of weight, stopping caring about appearances/hygiene, becoming withdrawn and sleeping too much or too little.

As well as talking about it, whether to friends, family or councillors, exercise can also help combat depression and anxiety symptoms. In fact, according to a recent YouGov poll, commissioned by Swim England, swimming is said to significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety or depression.

The poll revealed that almost half a million of British adults with mental health conditions said that swimming helped them and have reduced the number of visits to a medical professional as a result.

The poll also highlighted that most people who swam regularly said that taking to the water made them feel happier, more motivated and helped everyday tasks feel more manageable.

As well as being a great, full body workout, swimming is a brilliant exercise for your overall wellbeing. Just 30 minutes in the pool once or twice a week, alongside a healthy diet, is a great way to stay fit and maintain a positive outlook.

It’s also ideal for de-stressing and relaxing. Swimming can lower stress levels and reduce anxiety and depression (as well as improving your sleep). And all it takes is a few gentle laps – no pounding the treadmill or heavy weight lifting required.

(Check out one of our previous blogs to find out the benefits of swimming for exercise.)

If you don’t tend to exercise regularly or aren’t a fan of the gym, swimming is a great place to start. Not only is it great for your mental health, but it’s low-impact and strengthens your muscles too.

To find out more about swimming with Pendle Leisure Trust visit our website, just click here.