1 Feeling buoyed up
It’s not just the sight of water that makes us feel better. New research from Harvard Medical School has found that immersion can actually improve your mental state. So next time you feel a bit stressed, try going for a swim.
2 Screen antidote
So many of us spend several hours hunched over a screen every day. Swimming a combination of strokes can significantly improve your posture. Front and back crawl strengthen the muscles responsible for good posture and help you walk tall.
3 Lose your tummy!
When most people think about swimming they think about toning the arms and legs, but swimming with good form provides an excellent work out for your abs – and it is much more enjoyable than doing crunches.
4 Counter arthritis and back pain
The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so that you can move them more fluidly when you get out of the water. It also mobilises the spine.
5 Boost your sex drive
Recent research from the US for men and women over the age of sixty reports that people who swim at least three times a week have reported an increase in their libido levels: swimming is sexy!
6 Improve your concentration
The way in which swimming requires you to coordinate mind and body is extremely helpful in improving mental functioning.
7 Swimming is mindful
Health professionals are increasingly aware of the benefits of mindfulness training for stress reduction and improving our general health and well-being.Research in Israel has found that swimming is the most mindful of all popular activities.
8 Swim backstroke
When you swim backstroke you burn more calories than you realise. Our legs tend to sink when we swim on our back, and therefore we need to kick them much more vigorously than when we swim on our fronts. A bonus for swimmers who prefer to keep their face dry, or enjoy looking at the sky!
9 Stay supple
Swimming keeps you supple and helps you maintain a good range of motion.
10 Boost your self-esteem
Learning a new stroke or taking up swimming regularly has been shown to boost your confidence and self-esteem. The great thing about swimming (in contrast to many other sports) is that it’s never too late to learn. Many people take it up for the first time in their seventies, eighties or even their nineties: I’ve taught them!
11. Different strokes
There is a tremendous amount of misinformation around the risks and health benefits of swimming. According to Steven its not the stroke that you swim but the way that you do it that makes all the difference. He also believes that the ideal swimming workout involves swimming a variety of strokes as different strokes work different muscles groups and the variety helps keeps you motivated. Statements made by many health professionals such is if you’ve got back pain you better steer clear of the breaststroke just don’t hold water! In fact according to Steven if one swims with ones face in the water and incorporates an undulating action into the stroke breaststroke can be really beneficial for those suffering with back pain as it mobilizes the whole of the spine and because it requires most of the force to be generated from the lower body it tones the legs and strengthen the core where back sufferers are often weak.
The front crawl in contrast is an upper body dominant stroke, which can be extremely good at keeping the shoulders and upper body strong and supple. Unlike the traditional crawl swam by Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) The modern crawl advocated by Steven involves an important rotational movement which produces a great deal of power as well as ease through the waterr.