Benefits of Winter Swimming

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Royal Life Saving is concerned about the common misconception that drowning deaths only occur in Summer. In fact, across Australia around one third of drowning deaths happen in Autumn and Winter.

When the cold weather hits swimming is probably an activity that's far from your mind. But swimming is in fact one of the best activities everyone can undertake in winter! Swimming as regular exercise will strengthen the immune system - children and young people who swim may be less likely to fall ill with the common colds and flus that go around in schools, universities and daycare centres over the colder months.

Here are 8 more reasons why swimming in winter is great!

1. Source of Fitness

Whether you’re swimming for recreation or competition, swimming gives you a great work out. It keeps your heart rate up, builds cardio fitness, burns calories, and develops endurance.

2. Build Muscle Tone & Strength

Swimming uses almost all muscles in your body! It’s a resistance exercise that builds muscle and strength for a whole body workout. Swimming helps you develop deep stabilising muscles in your core which are often missed.

3. Low Impact

When in water, your body automatically becomes lighter so you don’t have pressure on your joints like other activities such as running. Swimming is an ideal activity to work stiff muscles and sore joints, stretching and strengthening your body.

4. Boosts Your Mood

Exercise releases chemicals into your body called endorphins. These trigger a positive feeling into your body which boosts your mood. Swimming has been shown to alleviate stress and tension. Swimming is also a meditative exercise, the repetition, movement and breathing can help you to relax.

5. Good For Your Brain

Swimming is one of the best activities you can do all year round which benefits your body and your mind. Swimming has found to increase blood flow to the brain, which leads to more oxygen. That means you’ll experience more alertness, better memory and cognitive function.

6. Helps Children Reach Milestones Earlier

Swim and Survive lessons are a great way for children and young people to stay active and healthy during winter; more importantly they provide them with vital life skills in water safety, personal survival and basic rescue. Also, children who learn to swim at a young age have been shown to reach many developmental milestones earlier than the normal population. As well as achieving physical milestones faster, swimming can improve their visual-motor skills. To join in a winter Swim and Survive program find a Royal Life Saving Society Endorsed Swim School near you.

7. Swimming is Great For All Ages and Abilities

From toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between, swimming is for people of all ages. The ability to control your own pace and intensity means that you can swim at your own capability.

8. Meet New People

Whilst swimming is an individual sport, it’s also very social! You can meet people from all walks of life when swimming. Have a chat in the lap pool, join a swimming club, or get involved in aquatic facility social events to get to know people in your community.

As well as all the health benefits listed above, the great thing about swimming is that you can do it rain, hail or shine, regardless of the temperature! Whilst your backyard pool, the river, or beach cool down over winter, most aquatic facilities run heated pools year round so you’ve got no excuse to stop swimming!

Still think swimming isn’t for you? There are lots of other fun water activities such as pool lifesaving sport, aqua aerobics or even walking in the water. Contact your local aquatic facility today!

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