In the chaos of the world, it can be overwhelming just getting through the day to day. But, pull down that external clutter and noise and we find what truly matters to all of us: to live a long and happy life.
How swimming can make you live a long happy life
Often, our health is tied to our happiness levels and they can go hand in hand. Eating a balanced diet, enjoying consistent exercise, having regular health checks and managing stress levels are the key components to helping you live a longer and happier life.
Poet W.H Auden once wrote ‘Thousands have lived without love, not one without water’. Of course, this is certainly true of consuming water. But, as research finds, being in bodies of water also extends the length of your life.
Swim for stress relief
Research shows that managing our stress levels can have a direct impact on our life expectancy and quality of life. When we’re stressed, our body and brain are negatively affected, causing havoc on our immune system and blood pressure, while causing depression, anxiety, panic, fatigue and raising adrenaline levels (which can damage the heart). Therefore, managing stress is vital to a longer life. Swimming is known to be one of the most effective ways to not only decrease our stress levels, but also repair damage stress has caused. The release of endorphins that occurs when we swim (due to its higher cardiovascular requirement compared to other movements like walking and even running) helps develop the growth of new brain cells that deplete when we experience stress.
Swimming in magnesium, particularly (and other high efficacy minerals), is proven to help regulate the body’s stress-response system; a practice that dates back centuries (it’s believed Cleopatra was quite the fan…). By doing this, a mineral-rich swim in a pool or in sea water can give you immediate relief of a stressful mindset, as well as a longer-term benefit of consistently better sleep.
Get the most out of cardio
Lethargy is not only frustrating, it can have serious effects on your overall health. From not being motivated enough to exercise, to damaging your mental health, it can really take its toll. One of the fastest ways to immediately improve energy is to take a swim. Swimming improves blood circulation to your heart, muscles and brain. A study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine found that not all physical movement is created equally when it comes to benefits, including mortality. Swimming was listed in the top three types of exercise that's most effective for optimal health.
A University of Carolina study also showed that swimmers were 50% less likely to die than walkers or runners if their health was otherwise equal.
Swimming for lymphatic support
Our body hosts a number of self-cleansing functions (our liver, digestive system etc.) to ensure optimal health through the ridding of toxins. One such system is our ever-important lymphatic system which is a collection of organs and tissues that work harmoniously to move lymph (the infection-fighting fluid found in white blood cells) through the body. When we exercise, we increase our heart rate, stimulating the arteries and, in turn, stimulating the lymphatic vessels beside them. This kick-starts the highly effective lymphatic system activity. However, its efficacy is intensified if our external body is compressed. When we’re in water, this is like having a full compression suit on! Compression improves the tissues’ ability to work the lymphatic fluid through the body. A high functioning lymphatic system ensures maximum blood flow which keeps your heart happy and healthy, as well as having a knock on effect of better sleep and higher immunity. Swimming, unlike any other exercise, encourages the body to do its best work.
We all want to live a stress-free, happy and long life. Sometimes life can get in the way of that, so it’s comforting to know that an activity as simple as swimming can have such a great result on our overall health. After all, it is the single most important thing we need to be taking care of.