Having only in recent years taken on the occasional open water swim, I cannot write a post about all the benefits and the transformative effects of swimming; however I can write from my splash of experience and share some credible articles with you about why swimming might well be an underrated mindful exercise.
Whilst swimming today, in a pool because absolutely nobody wants to hit the open waters in minus degrees, I once again began to think about my breathing and was fully able to zone out from the physical activity I was partaking in. Normally when running or cycling I tend to be a bit of a clock watcher, however with swimming I have found a perfect time to practise a little bit of mindfulness, very much a two birds one stone scenario.
I suppose to put it into layman’s terms, breathing technique when swimming is pretty crucial, and you begin to practise rhythmic breathing without necessarily realising. In contrast to breathing practises on land, there are other actions to consider when swimming, and so your focus is often shared amongst these actions allowing your breathing technique to almost flow naturally into the desired rhythm.
*Having a lane to yourself it quite important to avoid as many external factors as possible, in order to be fully ‘in the flow’.
Swimming is such a versatile form of physical exercise, and so great for all age ranges and abilities. If you can swim one length ~ fab, you can swim! If you can swim 400m in 5 minutes ~ fab, you can swim! To reap the psychological and physiological benefits of swimming, there are very few requirements, so give it a go!
As I mentioned above, swimming is getting two wellbeing practises in one, you have your physical exercise (physiological) as well as mindful breathing (psychological). Bonus points if there’s a sauna to jump into after!
Now then; open water swimming! It sounds daunting right? I had a slight panic whilst swimming off the coast on Lanzarote this week, as my mind wondered into shark territory; however aside from this and the often chilly temperatures, there are so many positives to take from swimming in outdoors.
As I am far from experinced in these waters I have shared with you two articles I found particularly interesting and hope you can find some inspiration in them too.
In the words of a PAL everybody needs, “Just keep swimming” ~ Dory!