Swimming is the perfect exercise for the mind and body, and can even help you live longer. A study by the University of South Carolina analysed 40,547 men aged 20-90 over 32 years, finding that those who swam had a 50% lower death rate than those who walked, ran or didn’t exercise at all. The benefits of swimming don’t stop here, however. Read on for more pros related to swimming:
Promotes positive mental health: swimming, especially ocean swimming, has been proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Using seawater in particular for health and wellness is known as thalassotherapy, and dates back to the 1700s, where doctors recommended patients to visit the ocean to treat glandular fever, jaundice and other diseases.
Age-defying: did you know swimming can help you look younger? Swimming regularly in the ocean, which is rich in minerals and contains high levels of magnesium, chloride, sulphate, sodium and calcium, helps the skin detoxify and hold moisture, leading to new cell growth.
Aids weight loss: swimming uses more muscles and burns more calories than football, running or cycling. Just an hour of constant swimming can burn up to 784 calories, while an hour of running burns approximately 557 calories and an hour of bike riding burns approximately 483 calories.
Enhances effects of aerobic exercise: swimming combines the health benefits of aerobics, strengthening the heart and lungs and lowering cholesterol. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, it is great for all ages, including elderly people.
Calms the mind: a process called hippocampal neurogenesis which can occur during swimming has the ability to alter damage to the brain caused by stress. Swimming promotes calmness and clarity.