Exercising can be an intimidating “to-do” to add to the list, especially when you are not accustomed to working out regularly in the first place. However, exercise can be great for boosting your endorphins, which is important when you are feeling stressed and anxious.
Swimming can be a great low-impact workout to relieve stress and benefit your body, especially for beginners. For those reasons, InstaSwim provides private at-home swimming lessons so that you can begin this new skill from the comfort of your own home.
Mental health and physical health are so closely intertwined that the professionals at MyTherapist recommend keeping track of both your mental and physical health to properly evaluate your overall health. For more information about MyTherapist, click here: https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/.
One great aspect of swimming is that it is an exercise that is not exclusive to age. Older adults can use swimming as a means for exercise without worrying about the impact on their joints, and younger adults can use swimming as a means of exercise, knowing that they could also make it more high intensity if desired. The bottom line is that swimming can be a dynamic means of relief physically and mentally for all ages.
5 Exercises That Provide Relief
- Slow & Steady: Swimming laps can be a great form of exercise, but you do not have to move fast in order to burn calories and relieve yourself of any anxiety. Swim slowly and literally feel the stress wash away as you find a steady pace with whatever stroke makes you comfortable. If you prefer to use a kickboard for balance or for the purpose of keeping your head above water, make sure to include that in your practice.
- Manage your breathing: Anxiety can often be immediately reduced with regular deep breathing. When you are in the water, make sure to swim with your breathing in mind. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is one of the most common ways to calm your mind. Timing your breathing with your strokes can function just like a relaxing deep breathing exercise.
- Floating: If you do not feel like swimming laps, or you need a break in between laps, just try floating in the water. You can enlist the assistance of a pool noodle or flotation device if that would make you more comfortable, but try taking a moment to do absolutely nothing.
- Mindful swimming: While you swim, let your brain focus on the task at hand. With any thoughts that might come, observe them and watch them come and go without judgment. The time you spend exercising does not need to solve all your problems, but it can be a respite for any anxiety and stress you are facing. Make sure to practice patience with your routine. It will not necessarily come easy, especially right away, so practice self-compassion and try to keep your exercise on a regular schedule, even if it is only for 15 minutes a day. After you swim, you could also jot down the thoughts you experienced while you were swimming in order to reflect.
- Side-wall stretching: Before and after you swim, take some time on the side of the pool to do some stretches. For example, in the water, you can do a calf stretch against the side of the pool by putting your toes and the ball of your foot against the wall, and leaning into the wall with the rest of your body. Likewise, you can stretch your legs and arms outside of the pool before you get in and after you get out in order to maximize your physical and mental relief.
Swimming from the comfort of your own home can often be the best way to achieve maximum relief. Without the presence of others, you can make sure that you are finding as much peace as possible. Learning to swim and incorporating that exercise into your physical and mental routine can be a great benefit to one’s health.