Speedo Promotes Mental Benefits From Swimming

Mental-Health
Speedo has collaborated with the sports psychologists at BelievePerform to dig deeper into the reasons why swimming is so good for the mind

In honour of World Mental Health Day tomorrow, Speedo wants to encourage more people to get in the water and experience the benefits that swimming can have on your mental health.

To explore further, Speedo has collaborated with the sports psychologists at BelievePerform to dig deeper into the reasons why swimming is so good for the mind.

The psychological and physical benefits of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three times or more a week, have been promoted for a long time, however when it comes to swimming, the mental and physical benefits add up to a very worthwhile mix.

Speedo World Mental Health Day Instagram 1 - please credit Speedo and BelievePerform

Photo Courtesy: Speedo and BelievePerform

Mental Health – Mindfulness in Action
Focusing on rhythmical breathing and tuning into a stroke by stroke existence in the water instantly begins to replicate mindfulness practices. When you’re swimming, you’re totally focused on the here and now and creating the control and movement you want. With every controlled breath the stresses and pressures from the outside world fade away and you develop the skill of being able to tune totally into yourself and tune out from the less controllable things in life that often create worry. This combination of controlled breathing and totally present focus ensure that brain and body are uniting to create a wonderful foundation for ongoing stress management.

Mental Health – Anxiety Under Control
By building on the foundation of mindfulness, you can quickly see how swimming is a great anxiety antidote. First, you’re making a positive choice to swim for your health and happiness – you’re taking control, rather than worrying about it. Second, because you’ve made the positive choice to do something for yourself, you’re reducing the time spent worrying about what other people are thinking. Finally, if you’re focused on enjoying time in the water to get fitter, you can choose to push yourself as much or as little as you want with each swim, in the knowledge that every stroke you take is helping you be a little bit fitter or stronger than if you hadn’t taken it.

Speedo World Mental Health Day Instagram 2 - please credit Speedo and BelievePerform

Photo Courtesy: Speedo and BelievePerform

Mental Health – Mood Booster
There’s few things more helpful for mental health than a boost of endorphins. From getting into the water and your body adapting to the new temperature and environment, through to the surge of chemicals coursing through your veins at the end of a swim, the investment in swimming is one big payoff in positive stimulants! Many people have written about the “runner’s high”, but the Swimmers high is just the same, and this natural boost has a great impact on our mood. Although we feel tired after a swim, the boost in endorphins and the extra strain on our muscles means there’s a great sense of relaxation.  With many of the chemicals that are released, we can end up feeling more alert, focused and clear in our minds too.

Mental Health – Self Esteem Upgrade
There’s a virtuous cycle that we can get into when swimming regularly because of the clear evidence that it’s making a difference. Each bit of evidence is another positive layer of self-esteem – a regular distance is covered more quickly and with less effort, we recover quicker within a swim and after a swim, we can swim further and push ourselves harder, our resting heart rate is lower, body weight and composition is more to our liking. Keeping track of these bits of evidence provides a great foundation on which to strengthen confidence and self-esteem and with every additional swim you do, even if the progress isn’t so fast, you know you’re cementing in place all of the good work you’ve already accomplished.

Speedo World Mental Health Day Instagram 3 - please credit Speedo and BelievePerform

Photo Courtesy: Speedo and BelievePerform

BelievePerform exists to support the mental fitness and wellbeing of the sport community with accessible, applied and engaging content for teachers, coaches and athletes. Established in 2013 it is the world’s no.1 applied sport psychology website and is led by Adam Morris, a trained CBT therapist who’s deeply passionate about how we all look after our mental health, every day, and Dr Chris Shambrook who was the resident team psyche for team GB rowing across 5 Olympic cycles.

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