Swimming can be a game-changer for your health and well-being

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I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to anyone who told me that they don’t like swimming. In fact, swimming is one of Britain’s favourite sports activities… and if you ask me, the great thing about swimming is that it often doesn’t feel like exercise — unlike running or weight training.

A new report, published by Swim England’s Swimming and Health Commission, highlights just how important swimming is to your health and well-being.

Making waves

The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report shows how the unique benefits of water make water-based activities ideal for people of all ages to exercise. The report also found that swimmers live longer and that swimming regularly can help older people stay physically and mentally fit, with particular benefits for those with long term health conditions like joint pain, heart disease and diabetes.

Other key findings of the report include:

• Participation in swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker.

• Swimming has a positive impact on a range of physical and mental health conditions including depression, obesity, cancer, cerebral palsy, and pulmonary disease.

• Aquatic activity not only helps develop aerobic fitness, but is also good for the development of strength and balance, especially important for elderly patients who have a high risk of falling.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Swim England’s CEO Jane Nickerson said: “The unique properties of water means that unlike other activities, no one is restricted from taking part.”

She added that swimming and aquatic activities are particularly beneficial for people with mental health concerns or problems with their joints and muscles, and that these findings are supported by the Dementia Friendly Swimming project.

Former CEO of the NHS Confederation, Mike Farrar, said: “For too long, national guidelines have concentrated on the cardio vascular benefits of exercise undertaken by healthy people, rather than on those who are less fit or have long term health conditions. This report shows that activities like swimming really do have the potential to be a game-changer in supporting the health of this nation, especially at a time when cuts to services means less money for long-term care.”

So, if you want to make one positive change to improve your health this summer, get down to your swimming pool and start making a splash… better still, visit http://www.swimming.org/justswim/ for tips on how to make the most of your swimming workout.



Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report, published online 25.06.17, swimming.org

New report shows health benefits of swimming, published online 21.06.17, swimming.org

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