Why Swimming is The Best Sport? 8 Benefits Of Swimming & More

swimming competitively pros and cons
By Maria Rezhylo
3x World record holder in swimming & swim school owner
Apr. 16, 2023
In this article, I will explain all the health benefits of swimming and where to start your journey for absolute beginners.

You'll learn:
  1. Physical benefits of recreational swimming
  2. How swimming affects our mental health
  3. Does swimming has an age limit
  4. And more

Hi, I am Maria Rezhylo, a former professional swimmer with a few World Records under my belt. Today, I'll tell you everything I know about swimming & its benefits for your well being.

Let's dive in.

Why Swimming is The Best For Mental & Physical Health

Swimming is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world and for a good reason. In fact, nearly 25 million Americans choose swim training over other sports due to its body and brain health benefits.

Not only is it a fun and refreshing way to cool off during the hot summer months, but it is also an incredibly effective workout that involves nearly every muscle and offers a multitude of physical benefits.
why swimming is the best
Participation in swimming - statistics of the year 2021.

Improves cardiovascular fitness

Swimming is an aerobic form of exercise that elevates heart rate and breathing rates and, thus, challenges our cardiovascular system. Performing aerobic exercise for a prolonged period of time helps to strengthen the heart muscle and improve its efficiency.

Recent research indicates that regular swimming lowers blood pressure, improves resting heart rate, reduces the risk of heart disease, and improves overall cardiovascular health.
cardiovascular benefits swimming
Swimming benefit #1

Increases blood flow

When we engage in aerobic activities like swimming, our blood vessels enlarge, allowing more blood to flow through them to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. That allows us to exercise for longer without fatiguing immediately.

Swimming has been proven to increase blood flow rate and velocity while keeping blood pressure low. Hence, it's an excellent sport that improves the overall efficiency and health of your circulatory system and battles multiple health conditions like arterial stiffness.
heart health and swimming
Swimming benefit #2

Changes your body composition

Likely, most people have heard that swimming is a whole-body workout, and that's true. The unique feature of swimming is that it engages quite literally all the muscles: from small stabilizing ones to large muscle groups. And what many people don't realize is that swimming, unlike other sports, gives you an opportunity to tone your body and improve endurance. All at once. The best of it: it suits people of all ages and fitness levels.

Among other health benefits, multiple studies have confirmed that swimming has been an effective form of exercise in reducing body fat percentage. So, if you are looking to start exercising for weight loss, consider substituting a couple of gym workouts for swimming. It's a nice way to differentiate your training.

Want to increase muscle mass? Unlike everything you've heard, it's actually possible. Consider getting equipment and adding more resistance when you swim. Differentiate your training by swimming shorter sprints with and without resistance. That will activate your short twitch muscles, and eventually, you'll see a significant difference in your muscle size.
gain muscles swimming
Swimming benefit #3

Puts 0 pressure on your joints

We know that the breaststroke kick is one of the most important propulsive forces in the stroke, but what about the arm pull?

For a long time, the swimming community and the leading coaches thought that arm pull was not something they had to focus on. The upper body and its role in the breaststroke was minimized until the latest research discovered that "catching" the wave after the recovery phase and performing a solid arm pull improved the time in competitive breaststroke swimmers.

Thus, it's important to take time to work on your breaststroke pull and leg kick equally.
swimming helps with joint pain
Swimming benefit #4

Enhances body awareness

Swimming is not all about muscling through the water to propel yourself forward. It's a fine balance between engaging certain muscles at different phases of the stroke while constantly maintaining a good body alignment in the water. And that requires a different level of balance and coordination that we need on the land. But don't get discouraged.

Anyone can develop those skills in the pool with enough training and practice. And if you can't master it all perfectly on your own, consider taking a few swimming lessons to learn more about mechanics.

The more you practice, the higher the level of body awareness you'll achieve. The best of it: increased coordination and balance acquired in the water will positively impact how you move on land.
improved coordination swim workout
Swimming benefit #5

Great fit for pregnant women

Among the overall health benefits swimming offers, it's also a great workout for pregnant women.
  • 1

    It relieves lower body pain and discomfort.

    During pregnancy, many women experience lower back pain as well as heaviness in their legs. As we said before, swimming is a low-impact sport, which makes it a great workout choice that can relieve those symptoms and make your life a little easier.
  • 2

    It's a minimal-risk exercise.

    Unlike many sports, swimming has almost no risk of getting injured and causing harm to your body. It's no contact activity that will keep you and your baby safe from falling, getting hit, and many other sports incidents.
  • 3

    It tones your muscles.

    Besides keeping you and your baby safe and sound, swimming is also an excellent workout that will prevent you from gaining additional weight and keep your muscles toned.
swimming makes a good workout during pregnancy
Swimming benefit #6

Swimming positively affects your mental health

We've heard for decades that regular exercise improves mood, and, in many cases, it's even used as a therapeutic treatment for various mental disorders. A study published in 2019 indicates that among all the forms of exercise, aerobic workout has the biggest impact on your mood. In fact, it's been proven as a successful treatment for major depressive disorder. Since then, scientists have been searching for one exercise that has the biggest impact on our mental health.

Multiple studies have investigated different sports and have come to the conclusion that aquatic sports have the highest positive effect. As a matter of fact, one study conducted swim classes to combat symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and alcohol and drug abuse. The results have shown that swimming at low intensity is the best workout not only for your body but also for your brain.
swim classes positively effects mood
Swimming benefit #7

It fits people of all ages and abilities

Many adults fear learning to swim due to their age. Most think that because they've never acquired water skills at a young age, it's a hopeless case. That's not true.
Learning to swim can be a long process, but it's sure rewarding. If you've tried to learn but failed or quit, we encourage you to seek professional help.

Numerous studies have proved that anyone can learn to swim with the proper instruction and enough practice time. Once you acquire the water skills, they'll stay with you for life and open up new fun opportunities aquatics have to offer.
swimming ability
Swimming benefit #8


If we haven't yet convinced you to start swimming, we want to hear your feedback. What sets you back from jumping in the pool?

For those who have already started swimming, what changes have you noticed in your life?

Let us know in the comments below!
why swimming is the best sport