Exercising in winter can be a real chore. Gone are the days where you feel energized enough to go on a sunny 7am run, instead you wake up grumpy and cold, welcomed by darkness and, possibly rain. In fact, swimming is probably the last thing on your mind. But don’t jump to conclusions - swimming can actually be the perfect exercise for the cold winter months and here’s why.
Swimming is an Indoor activity. Part of the struggle of exercising in winter is the thought of heading outdoors in the cold to burn some calories. Well, there’s no need to worry about the weather when you’re exercising indoors. Find an indoor community pool where you can enjoy the luxury of a heated pool, which feels extra-nice in the colder months.
Another perk of using the pool during the winter is that it’s less busy than during the sunnier seasons. Everyone wants to enjoy the cool waters of a swimming pool in the summer, but they’re less keen in the winter when they have to make their way home with their hair still damp. Make the most of this quiet period when you can get a lane all to yourself.
The winter blues can be really hard to deal with. The shorter days and lack of vitamin D can get us down, but winter swimming has been shown to boost your mood. A study published in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health analysing the effects of regular winter swimming on the mood of swimmers found that routine cold water swimming left people feeling more energetic and active. This is because when your body adjusts to the cold, your fight or flight (sympathetic) system declines and your rest and digest (parasympathetic) system increases.
We’re all guilty of over-indulging in the winter. With less opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities we’re left with few options but to sit indoors which only encourages excessive eating. Thankfully, swimming in cold water has been shown to increase your metabolism. Your body has to work twice as hard to keep you warm – burning more kilojoules and boosting your metabolism in the process. The boost in metabolism can really help you out when comfort eating.
On a final note, swimming is an excellent exercise for those of you who have recently had a mastectomy. Because it’s so gentle, swimming after breast surgery is an excellent way to exercise all your major muscle groups, helping you avoid muscular atrophy, which is common in post-surgical patients who remain sedentary for prolonged periods.
Swimming strengthens your abdomen, back and shoulders, all of which help carry your frame easily, reducing the likelihood of back discomfort and making for an easier recovery from breast surgery.
So, if you’re ready to hit the pool this winter you can check out our range of flattering swimwear here.