It’s easy to overlook the power of swimming. Sometimes it just seems like the pool is the place for a little bit of fun; family time on holiday perhaps, or a cool place to hang out in the summer months.
But swimming is a fantastic way to burn calories and lose weight. And swimming at night, illuminated by gentle mood lights in a luxurious heated pool – like the one at Hale Country Club & Spa – has even more benefits.
Not only is it the perfect place to cool down after a long, hot day at work, it’s also the ideal way to work out before bedtime and enjoy a great night’s sleep.
Not tried it yet? Here are 8 benefits of nighttime swimming to convince you to jump in the pool one evening:
It’s the perfect evening cardio session
After a long day at work, a cardio session is the last thing many of us want to do. Swimming doesn’t feel like a cardio workout, and yet you’ll burn more calories than if you were walking, cycling or even running. As you’re forced to keep moving and stay afloat, you’ll always be pushing your cardiovascular system – without the effort often required for a land-based workout.
You’ll work your muscles too
As well as a cardio workout, an evening swim can count as a strength day too. Water is almost 800 times denser than air, which means there is constant resistance on your muscles. Put another way, the resistance generated by pushing through water is 40 times greater than if you were in the gym, meaning that your muscles have to work harder. The end result is a strength and toning workout, without you even realising.
It’s low impact
As you’re buoyant in water, you weigh much less than on land. You’re only supporting about 10% of your body weight, and there are no hard surfaces for you to impact upon. This means the wear and tear on your body is minimal compared to jogging or running.
For anyone suffering from injuries, swimming is ideal, as your joints can move without the fear of impact. But it’s also great for anyone looking to push the intensity of their workout regime even further, as they won’t need to worry about overtraining and repetitive strain damage.
Some studies have even shown swimming to be better than a full rest, so if you’ve been itching to do something on recovery day, head to the pool in the evening to benefit from a light workout.
You’ll improve your breathing and blood flow
When you’re swimming in and out of the water, oxygen is at a premium. You’re forcing your lungs to make the most efficient use of it, which, in turn, means you’ll improve your breathing capacity. If you can breathe easier, and for longer, you’ll boost your endurance for other exercises too.
More efficient use of oxygen also means a better blood flow around the body. This can help to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
As the air at a swimming pool has a higher moisture content, research has also shown it can improve symptoms for asthma sufferers, making it easier to breathe.
It’s an ideal stress buster
Chilling out in the pool at night is the perfect way to unwind from the stress of work. It’s a calming experience that can help us relax, without the pressure of deadlines or anywhere we need to get to.
Like any exercise, swimming releases endorphins that combat stress; but on top of this, being surrounded by water dulls your senses and helps you reach a higher level of relaxation, as you don’t have the same pumped and intense surroundings as you might in the gym.
Studies have shown the feel good hormone serotonin is also released, which can help further reduce tension in the body and relieve any feelings of anger or depression.
You’ll work under-used muscles and improve flexibility
No matter how long we spend in the gym, most of us are guilty of just focusing on some core muscles and regions of our body. That means that others get neglected, especially ones that we don’t tend to use at work.
Swimming will focus on those muscles that have been dormant during the day if you work at a desk, like your lats, deltoids and traps (back and shoulder). Your arms will be rotating around in their sockets and over your head, and you’ll also be using stabilising muscles in your core and lower back to stay afloat.
Ultimately, a night time swim will loosen all those muscles that have been tense during the day, and help you become more flexible as you use fluid motions to push through the water.
Sleep will come easier
Exercising at night can burn off any excess energy and help you sleep better, for some people. Others find running or weight training to be invigorating, leaving them more awake and unable to nod off.
Thankfully, swimming at night has more of a calming effect and burns energy without getting you too pumped up. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, swimmers were twice as likely to have a good night’s sleep and reported far fewer instances of insomnia or waking early.
You might even feel smarter
Some early studies have shown that swimming can actually make you smarter. This is because as you increase the blood flow throughout your body, more of it flows to the brain and stimulates the cells to make more connections and work more effectively.
So if you’ve had a busy day at work and need to digest all the information you’ve taken in or plan ahead for the day tomorrow, a night time swim in the heated pool at Hale Country Club & Spa is the perfect activity.