Updated: Apr 20
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our mental and physical health. Given the nature of the pandemic and how the COVID virus is transmitted, health authorities have been determined to educate the public on how to manage being exposed to the many pathogens around us. Authorities have given us a crash course on how our body works against these things and it has become apparent that immunity has become top priority.
Because of this, we have become more conscious and mindful of what we put into our bodies, even taking different kind of things that help us maintain our good health and boost immunity. Aside from vitamins and a healthy diet, the option that is most overlooked is engaging in aerobic exercises and being more active. Many people don’t consider physical activity because it is time consuming and quite frankly, the one requiring the most effort. Leading an active lifestyle not only has longterm benefits, but may also support and boost our immune system to its optimum performance.
Not a lot may consider this immediately but swimming is actually one of the best entry-level, and low-impact physical activities someone can try. Swimming is the least intimidating in terms of exercise because most people associate water with summer vacations and beach trips. A physical workout in the water is also very different from a standard workout in a way that the water absorbs impact so it helps relax our body into whatever we’re doing in the water— not to mention how much more fun it is.
Improved Blood Circulation
Regular physical exercise keeps our body to stay healthy and agile because constant movement makes way for our blood to circulate throughout the body and send oxygen to our organs. This in effect boosts the performance of our organs and allows for our immune system to function at its best.
One of the organs that benefits from improved circulation is the bone marrow. The bone marrow is responsible for producing white blood cells and we know that WBCs are our bodies defense mechanisms in fighting off harmful viruses that enter our body. Cold swimming, in particular, is also proven to increase white blood cell production because low temperatures cause our body to react to this sudden change in our body’s environment, therefore also causing our immune system to create even more white blood cells. In effect, swimming regularly in colder water really makes our body more equipped to face incoming threats and make it more resilient in the event that we do catch anything.
Builds Physical and Mental Strength
Physical activities help us develop our muscle strength from moving our body and getting into our workouts. This not only directly improves our muscles but also since swimming is a full-body aerobic sport, it really strengthens our heart and lungs. We know from the effects of the pandemic that having a healthy heart and lungs could be beneficial in the fight against COVID-19, as it is primarily a respiratory disease. Also, as mentioned earlier, swimming is a low-impact aerobic sport so it is a great option for those with heart conditions, arthritis, and people with injuries.
Studies show that swimming, like many other physical activities, make way for our bodies to release endorphins that ultimately lower stress levels. Stress is known to be a big downer to our immune system, so keeping our stress levels at bay should also keep our immune system functioning to an optimal level. Swimming and regular physical activities are proven ways that can boost not only our immune system but our moods and overall mental and physical health as well.
Whether it’s trying to boost your immune system or just wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle, swimming is a nice jumping point to transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle. If a pool is available near you, even just a half-hour swim session per day can help keep stress away. Paired with a balanced diet, we have a better chance in defending ourselves from anything that may come our way.