Swimming best antidote for anxiety, depression

Speedo fi tness expert and an Olympian, Nisha Millet, on how swimming helped her stay strong mentally

Published: 05th April 2017 10:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2017 04:46 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Nisha Millet, the swimming champ talks to us on how she beat the blues on a personal level? “Swimming has helped me extensively when I was pregnant and after I delivered my beautiful twin girls. It helped me keep myself cool and and lower my stress levels. Obviously it helps that I am the head coach at my academy which means that I get in regularly for my classes. Some days I just walked in the water and the effect of the buoyancy meant that there was a lot less stress on my back and my joints.

I was also determined to work and swim till my last month and it helped me keep my blood pressure normal. Being a new mom was beyond stressful with very little sleep and since I didn’t have a nanny it was just me and my husband looking after two newborns. Although I did not have post partum depression it was still a tough time, so just three months after my delivery I asked my mother to babysit the girls and went for a swim with my husband.

I can’t begin to explain what a great feeling it was to get my heart rate up and fell the comfort of doing a few laps of the pool. Now I try and fi t in a 30-minute swim every week or two. How does swimming compare to other workouts and why doesit works in favour of this activity? Swimming is unlike any other activity & is regarded as the best workout worldwide for people suffering from depression, mental & physical disabilities, women who are pregnant and of course anyone who wants to indulge in a great cardio workout. Due to the buoyancy of the water we feel only 10% of our body weight while standing in the pool which makes it the best low impact activity as compared to jogging or cycling.

There is also an increase in the resistance that you feel once your body is immersed in water due to water friction & this is what helps improve your muscle tone & burns fat as you have to put in more effort to move than on land. Also, using the right kind of swimming gears help you in getting the techniques right. I use Speedo’s technologically advanced body swimsuit, which activates the core muscles of the body to streamline the body position in water, and other gears.

Since your face is in the water for a lot of strokes, it works to strengthen your lungs by developing a regular breathing pattern which also helps you go into an almost meditative state due to rhythmic breathing as you do your laps. Is there any research that shows swimming is good to fi ght depression? Yes it is well documented that swimming is recommended for people suffering from anxiety and depression. When you swim you feel good and your endorphins and other stress reducing hormones are released. This is like medicine because endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers. Swimming in slightly colder water also helps reinvigorate you and boost your overall mood.


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