Active Places: Swimming into Summer

Summer is Swimming Time

With Summer approaching, people are getting ready to get back outside and enjoy time in the water. Swimming is a fantastic physical activity option that offers numerous benefits for our overall health and wellbeing. Whether you swim in a pool or open water, swimming provides a full-body workout that is low-impact, making it an ideal choice for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. 

Benefits of Swimming 

Social Benefits: Swimming is often a social activity, where individuals can join swimming classes or clubs to meet like-minded people. Research shows that swimming can boost social bonds and promote social cohesion. A study published in Science Direct found that swimmers who trained together had higher levels of social cohesion and emotional support. The study pointed out that the majority of participants had post-swim feelings of “relief, exhilaration and euphoria, satisfaction and relaxation.”

Mental Benefits: Swimming has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In a study published in Lifestyle Medicine, researchers found that swimmers reported significantly lower levels of stress and improved mood after a 10 week swimming program. It was demonstrated in swimmers that there was an “acute reduction in negative mood states (tension, fatigue, depression, anger and confusion) and increase in positive mood (esteem-related affect and vigor) during the pool and outdoor swimming sessions”. 

Physical Benefits: Swimming provides a full-body workout that engages all major muscle groups. It also burns calories and helps to improve cardiovascular health. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that swimmers who engaged in regular swimming lived longer lives. In a study of 80,000 people, swimmers had a 28% lower risk of early death and a 41% lower risk of death due to heart disease and stroke. 

Physiological Benefits: Swimming has been shown to have numerous physiological benefits, including improved flexibility, increased lung capacity, and better balance. Researchers in Australia found that older adults who engaged in regular swimming had better balance and lower rates of falls compared to non-swimmers. “Men in the study who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall compared with all men in the study. In contrast, the men who did other forms of exercise — including golfing, doing calisthenics, working out on treadmills or stationary bikes, were no less likely to fall”.

 Swimming in WV 

West Virginia is known for its natural beauty and plentiful swimming locations. With over 100 lakes and reservoirs, as well as numerous swimming holes and rivers, there are plenty of opportunities to swim and enjoy the outdoors in West Virginia. Whether you prefer to swim in a clear mountain lake or a refreshing river, there is no shortage of places to explore and enjoy the benefits of swimming in this beautiful state.

Swimming offers a wide range of benefits for our physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or just starting, incorporating swimming into your exercise routine can help improve your overall health and wellbeing. So, grab your swimsuit, head to your local pool or a nearby river, and dive into the many benefits of swimming!

Click here to check out our resource page for family friendly swimming areas!