6 Benefits of Swimming (and How to Get Better at it)

Swimming is a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed at any age. It is great for the body as well as the mind and is a skill that crosses over into other activities. If you are looking to stay fit and healthy, swimming could be the perfect exercise for you. We are going to look at why swimming is such a great activity for keeping fit, the top benefits of swimming, and how to get better at it.

Check out these top benefits of swimming:

1.Swimming is a whole-body workout

Unlike many other forms of exercise, swimming works every muscle in the body. It is a great whole-body workout, and the resistance against the water requires more oxygen for the working muscles, meaning that swimming is great cardiovascular exercise.

2.Can help lower blood pressure

Studies have found that swimming could be as effective as taking some medications for lowering blood pressure. As muscles grow and become stronger, the heart muscles must become stronger to pump more blood to them. This leads to lower blood pressure and can be hugely beneficial for those with high blood pressure issues.

Stay safe while swimming in open water, take a look at this: Swimming Safety 101: Essential Tips for Open Water Swimming.

3.Swimming can be done with injuries

The water supports up to 90% of our body weight. This means that those suffering some injuries that cannot do high-impact exercise (such as weightlifting or jogging), can still move their body and enjoy the fitness benefits of swimming. It is also generally safe to do while pregnant.

4.It is an inclusive sport for all abilities

Swimming is an inclusive and accessible sport for people with disabilities and mobility differences. Swimming can even help ease pain associated with arthritis and osteoporosis.

*As everyone is different, always check with a medical professional to find out whether swimming is a safe exercise for you if you have a disability, an illness or injury, or are pregnant.

5.Good calorie burner for those looking to lose weight

Of course, exercise is not always about losing weight, but for those who are looking to lose some pounds, swimming is an ideal way to do it. An average person can burn around 400 calories in a one-hour swimming session, swimming at a low to moderate pace. This is more than the same person would burn on a one-hour walk.

Swimming also has a low impact on the joints, and as we already talked about, the water supports most of your body weight. It is easier to participate in swimming and get fit that way rather than by starting a dry sport – which can be harder on the joints if you are overweight or a beginner.

6.It can make you feel happier and less stressed

One of the best benefits of swimming is that it boosts your mental health. It is said that swimming can decrease stress levels, increase self-esteem, lower the risk of depression, improve the quality of sleep, and even slow dementia. Swimming can also ease anxiety levels and encourage relaxation.

Thinking of doing some open-water swimming? Here is what you will need: Open Water Swim Essentials - 8 Tips for a Great Swim

7.It does not cost much

There are many benefits of swimming, including that it is good for your bank balance! Depending on where you live, there might be places where you can swim for free, or for a low cost at a leisure center. You also do not need to buy expensive equipment for swimming; a swimsuit is all you need. Swimming goggles, nose clipsswim fins, and safety buoys can also be used to make swimming a little more comfortable, but these are optional extras.

Simple ways to become a better swimmer

Becoming a great swimmer can take a lot of practice but making a few small changes to your swimming technique can make all the difference to your speed and efficiency. Implement a few minor adjustments and you will find swimming easier and more enjoyable. With some practice, you will be swimming much further in the same amount of time.

As you become a stronger swimmer, you will not only enjoy the fitness benefits of swimming but also the fun of exploring new environments. There are many beautiful lakes, rivers, and seas for wild swimming adventures.

Here are the two main swimming strokes, and how to improve at them:


This is a fairly slow swimming stroke and easy to do for a long time without getting too tired. 

Keep your head mostly above water, while swimming with your body facing down. Make semicircle movements with your arms, and frog kicks with your legs to propel you through the water. 

Improve your breaststroke by:

  • Try some ankle mobility exercises to improve your ankle flexibility which will help your breaststroke technique
  • Try not to pull your arms too wide and make smaller circular movements
  • Keep your head pointed forward and in line with your body
  • Do not go too wide with your kicks; make them smaller
  • Alternate kicking and pulling with your arms, instead of trying to do both simultaneously

Need some more help? Here are more ways to be a better swimmer: Top Tips for Improving Your Swimming Technique

Front crawl

With your front and head facing down, use alternating arms to reach overhead and pull through the water while also kicking your legs. This can be a little tricky to master putting all the movements together, but it is a much faster style of swimming than breaststroke. 

Improve your front crawl by:

  • Tilting your head to the side every few strokes to take a breath without stopping. It is good to do this on an odd number (usually every three strokes) so that you can look both ways and see what other swimmers might be doing
  • Keep your legs straight when kicking. Kick from the hips instead of the knees
  • Point your toes when kicking
  • Kick fast with short kicks, rather than trying to take wide kicks
  • Keep your fingers slightly apart when scooping the water, in a rake-like way, this will give you more propulsion
  • Try not to slap your hands down into the water but rather ‘dive’ your fingers into the water with less impact

If you want to up your swimming game and have more fun in the water, sign up for an SSI Swimming program or even try freediving

Share your passion, get inspired, and explore our incredible aquatic world!