Do you remember the exhilarating experience of jumping into a crystal blue pool on a summer day when you were a kid? Many of us have those childhood memories…Yet few of us take advantage of the fact that swimming lessons not only continue to offer this amazing feeling in adulthood, but they’re also accompanied by a breadth and depth of health benefits.
Whether you’re a novice swimmer or positively Phelps-ian, read on for six reasons to sign up for swimming lessons today.
Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Take Swimming Lessons
1. Swimming is fun.
Swimming may be the most fun you can have while also strengthening your body and burning calories. From the sheer satisfaction of swimming laps in solitude to being confident while socializing at pool parties, swimming is certain to add an element of entertainment to your life.
The ability to swim well can also open your life up to exciting new experiences. Want to hop off the back of a boat on a sailing excursion or go on a snorkeling trip in Cancun? Swimming lessons may mean the difference between daydreaming and doing.
2. Anyone can do it at any age.
Even if you never learned to swim as a child, you can still learn to swim in adulthood. And in doing so, you can immediately begin reaping all of the advantages of this no-impact sport.
But learning to swim as an adult also offers something else, according to adult swim instructor Jane Green Pettersson who told The Guardian, “Sometimes lessons learned in the water seem to translate into real life. One man who was a total non-swimmer before he came to me told me that, once he conquered his fear of water and learned to swim, he found that he was no longer afraid of dogs.” In other words, in overcoming your inability to swim, you can also position yourself to overcome other obstacles, as well.
Not only can you learn to swim at any age, but the skill of swimming will stay with you throughout your life. While high-impact sports like running can be harder on aging bodies, swimming continues to be a go-to activity for many fitness enthusiasts well into their golden years.
3. You’ll become a better swimmer.
It is easy to think of swimming lessons entirely in terms of people who can’t swim. While swim lessons have profound value for non-swimmers, they’re also incredibly useful for accomplished swimmers. Looking to feel stronger in your next triathlon or on your next beach getaway? Swimming lessons can help you be a more efficient, confident swimmer.
Reports one IRONMAN article on the value of swim lessons, “Of the three disciplines of triathlon, the swim usually comes with the highest intimidation factor for newcomers. Many of us spend our childhoods biking and running, with water activities reserved for boating, lounging around, or cooling off. Mastering the mechanics of stroke, body position, sighting, breathing, and drafting is a lifelong pursuit—something every triathlete must work diligently at in their training.”
4. You’ll become a better athlete in general.
Swimming is also incredibly beneficial for non-swimmers. Says CoolRunning, “There’s nothing quite so soothing for muscles tired from the pounding of the road as the gentle massaging action of water as you glide through it. Swimming is a zero impact sport, and as the least stressful cross-training activity, it’s ideal when coming back from injury. There’s also something about immersing yourself in the calm and quiet of the water. As contemplative as running can be, swimming rivals it as a meditative activity.” (Sign Up for an Aquatic Session today to start getting in on these pool positives. )
5. Swimming has profound physical health benefits.
Swimming boosts heart health, improves muscular endurance, and builds strength. Even better, it can turn back the aging clock. Reports Fitness, “Regular swimmers are biologically 20 years younger than their driver’s licenses say they are, according to research from Indiana University. Scientists say that, even up until your 70th birthday, swimming affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry to be much more similar to that of your younger self.”
6. Swimming has mental health benefits, as well.
All forms of aerobic exercise stimulate the production of serotonin, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. But swimming may top the list when it comes to mood-boosting exercise. As James Thornton wrote in Swimmer, “Swimming serves, as well, to sop up excess fight-or-flight stress hormones, converting free-floating angst into muscle relaxation. It can even promote so-called “hippocampal neurogenesis” – the growth of new brain cells in a part of the brain that atrophies under chronic stress. In animal models, exercise has shown itself to be even more potent than drugs like Prozac at spurring such beneficial changes.”
Echoed psychotherapist Moby Coquillard in the same piece, “Swimming, because of its repetitive nature, is incredibly meditative. There’s even a built-in mantra, be this the slow count of laps, or self-directed thoughts like “relax” or “stay smooth.”
The overall takeaway? Not only can learning how to swim — or learning how to swim better, as the case may be — enhance your workout regimen, it can also enhance your life. Sign up for a trial pass today to start seeing for yourself how swimming and other forms of exercise can enrich your life.