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Five reasons to go for a swim today

Swimming is one of the UK’s most popular sports and, as a recently published report from Swim England shows, it has a number of health and wellbeing benefits. Here are five reasons to dive right in.

Swimming can help you live longer

Swimming can help protect against the serious diseases you risk if you’re inactive, such as diabetes and heart disease. In a study of more than 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. 70% of the NHS budget goes on chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, but regular physical activity, such as swimming, can reduce the occurrence of these conditions by 20–40%.

A swim is good for your wellbeing and mental health

Swimming helps adults keep on top of their mental health, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving their quality of life, says Swim England. Physical exercise also helps adolescent emotional wellbeing. The Swim England report says: “Physical activity has been shown to positively improve the wellbeing of specific groups such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, people with depression, people in prison and young people using wheelchairs.”

Pretty much anyone can do it

Exercise in water gives your body more support than exercise on land. It has less impact on your joints and bones, making it suitable for the majority of people of all ages and abilities – and most pregnant women. Swim England says it also helps children to develop more quickly when introduced (with assistance!) when they’re aged 3+ months: “[It helps children] get to grips with key skills like walking, talking and counting, faster.”

It’s never to late to learn

One in five adults can’t swim, according to Swim England. To encourage participation, Swim England has a system of adult learn-to-swim awards, similar to those that children can achieve. For more on learning to swim as an adult, see the links below.

You could be taking part in one of the UK’s most popular sports

In England alone, in the year to September 2016, some 2.5 million people aged 16 and over (5.67%) reported swimming once a week for at least 30 minutes. Why not dive in and start enjoying the benefits?

 

Adult swimming lessons information:

In England www.swimming.org/learntoswim/asa-adult-learn-to-swim-awards

Scotland www.scottishswimming.com/learn-to-swim/learn-to-swim/adult-learn-to-swim.aspx

Wales www.swimwales.org/pages/adult-learn-to-swim

Ireland http://www.swimireland.ie/get-swimming/recreational-swimming/adult-swimming

 

Sources:

Swim England report: http://www.swimming.org/swimengland/new-report-shows-health-benefits-swimming

Life expectancy: bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/10/812