Stress Relief with Swimming
Tips and techniques for stress relief with swimming
Why do I find that stress relief with swimming is good?
When I started to work in a corporate environment a few years ago I found it really challenging. I got quite sick with headaches and muscle ache.
I tried different things out but one thing was more effective than anything else.
What was it?
Yes, swimming in the sea.
I found this treatment to be absolutely magical. I gained such stress relief with swimming.
Combined with the other steps I had taken (please see other stress relief techniques) I found that by swimming 3 to 4 times a week in the sea completely invigorated me.
I would go after work for a swim. No matter how bad or stressed or tired I felt, I always felt like a new person after a swim in the sea.
It was radical. I would feel like I was reborn. I saw at this point how powerful the mind is. The mind told me I was tired, but my body was crying out for exercise.
The Benefits of Swimming in Nature
The benefits I get from swimming in the sea are:
• It feels less stressful than the pool as I could swim where and how I wanted without bumping into others. The pool is good but the sea is better.
• Swimming on my back looking up at the radiant blue sky is like some wonderful gift. After the years of working in London this gave me so much stress relief.
• This enormous expanse of water feels so cleansing.
• The water is cool which helps to wake me up and wash away my stress.
• It’s free although the changing rooms are a little exposed (the beach!)
Obviously it is not possible for everyone to live near the sea. But lakes and rivers are also a good place to swim, as long as they are not too polluted.
If you are not near to the sea then the pool is also a wonderful way to appreciate swimming.
Tips for Stress Relief with Swimming
Have a go. I swim in the pool in winter and in the sea in summer. Some tips I have are as follows:
• If you work in an office or even at home try to get away at lunch for a swim. I always feel awake and buzzing in the afternoon after a swim.
• If you do go at lunch, make sure you have enough time that you are not rushing. The idea is for stress relief – not to add more stress by rushing around!
• By going at lunch a lot of pools are quieter and therefore less stressful. After work or in the evenings is usually a lot busier.
• Try getting up earlier and going before work or in the morning. Again the pools are usually less busy then.
• Swimming in the morning helps to wake the body up
• If you swim in the sea make sure you swim on a life guarded beach. Rips and currents can be very powerful even for a strong swimmer.
• Enjoy the swim, don’t make it in a stressful race. Enjoy the gift you are offering your body by exercising. The body appreciates it, let the mind appreciate it too.
• Get into a routine. Some days we don’t feel like exercising but we always feel better afterwards. A positive routine like swimming regularly helps stress management tremendously.
• Swimming is great in the long term for stress relief because it helps to increase the size of the lungs. By increasing lung size our breathing becomes deeper. The deeper the breath, the more relaxed we become!
Swim, swim, swim!
So get out and swim. Stress relief with swimming truly is great. Try it. If you don’t like it, at least you’ve tried. And if you love it – well wonderful – watch your stress levels drop and your happiness increase!