Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming
There is an increased recognition of the importance of maintaining and promoting the wellbeing of individuals within society and the entire lifespan. Two sessions of swimming a week for 45 minutes can significantly improve the wellbeing of older people. There is also evidence of an incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (compared to minimal intervention) of E12,100 per quality adjusted life year gained for community based exercise programs. Swimming remains one of the most popular forms of physical activity across the world and may offer a unique opportunity to promote, maintain, and improve wellbeing across the lifespan, with potential to reach all individuals of society, regardless of gender, age, disability, or socioeconomic status.
- Kids: Swimming helps children develop more quickly, by helping them get to grips with the key skills like walking, talking and counting faster.
- Adults: Swimming helps adults keep on top of their mental health by helping reduce with stress and anxiety, and improving their quality of life.
- Elderly: Swimming helps older people stay mentally agile, by helping slow the decline of things like memory that can often happen as we age.
Water-based exercise brings a number of advantages, as compared to land-based exercise. As an environment that offers reduced weight-bearing stress, higher humidity levels, decreased heat load and a greater margin of therapeutic safety. Swimming is extremely well placed to safely and effectively meet the needs of a wide range of individuals, in both treatment and prevention of physical health issues.
Swimming’s longevity benefits are not lost on Kirsty; with the lack of stress on her joints, it’s a workout she can love for a long time to come. “Like a lot of people I swam a lot as a child,” she tells us. “As I got older I stopped going to the pool as much, possibly because of being a mum and so on. But now I make time for the pool every week. I do think I’ll carry on swimming for the long haul!”
Swimming will actually make that haul longer. The University of South Carolina studied swimmers over the course of 30 years. The researchers concluded swimmers were 50% more likely to live longer than those doing alternative forms of cardio. It’s all down to your limited breaths during lengths – as well as improving cardiovascular performance, if your body’s using oxygen more efficiently you could be living longer as a result, according to the journal Aging Cell. Adding years onto your life while taking inches off your waist; what better reasons to take the plunge?
As one of the most popular forms of physical activity, swimming and other aquatic exercise confers significant physical health benefits for both healthy individuals and those with disease. These health benefits extend well across the span of someone’s life.