Swimming is one of the favorite past times for those who live in Southern California. My colleague from Missouri, Steve Drake, writes about the benefits he gets from swimming, and the connection between our thinking and health. Steve recently published an article in the Southeast Missourian that I thought my readers would enjoy.
Go ahead, take the plunge and swim your way to health and overall well-being. Olympians, M.D.s, fitness trainers and avid swimmers confirm that swimming is not only good for your body, but can also improve emotional and spiritual well-being as you stroke through the water.
Swimming provides me with a restorative and liberating feeling. Ever since childhood, I have been drawn to the water like a moth to a flame. I enjoy the discipline of overcoming limitations, both physical and mental, while swimming laps or even doing an open water swim. Author Lynn Sherr elevates swimming to a spiritual experience when she says, “[swimming's] also an inward journey, a time of quiet contemplation…I find myself at peace, able — and eager — to flex my mind, imagine new possibilities, to work things out.”
The idea that swimming is good for you mentally as well as physically is really old news. Author David Thomas, in his book Swimming: Steps to Success quotes William Wilson who in 1883 wrote, “The experienced swimmer, when in the water, may be classed among the happiest of mortals in the happiest of moods, and in the most complete enjoyment of the happiest of exercises.” It would be fair to ask whether it is actually the physical act of swimming or the mental atmosphere that it creates – that quiet cocoon under the water which allows time for deep thinking or prayer — that produces this kind of happiness and sense of well being.
Here is the link to the rest of Steve’s article in the Southeast Missourian