Paralympian Ellie Simmonds On How Swimming Helps Improve Sleep, Wellbeing And Positivity

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that swimming is a great for your body (just feast your eyes on Michael Phelps in ESPN's 2014 Body Issue - whit woo), but did you know that time spent in the pool is also good for your mind?

According to Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, swimming can increase positivity by more than one-third (35%), improve quality of sleep two-fold and lift general wellbeing by 25%.

In the video above, Ellie shares her step-by-step guide from her bespoke swimming session that will help those keen to escape the stress of the modern world.

The NHS offer a five point plan to help keep you motivated.

Make it a habit

Try to set aside time every week to go to the pool, before or after work or on weekends. Write it in a diary so it becomes a permanent fixture in your weekly schedule. Consider getting an annual swim pass. This will help you save money and encourage you to go more often.

Take the kids

Swimming is a great way for families to get moving and have fun together. There are so many things you can do to keep the kids interested, such as humming songs under water. For more swimming games, see the Change4Life website.

Swim with a friend

It really helps to go swimming regularly with someone of about the same ability as you. You’ll encourage each other when you’re not so keen to go to the pool. You’ll feel you don't want to let your swimming partner down and this will help motivate you.

Mix it up

The swimming pool makes a great playground and a great gym, even for non-swimmers, with activities such as aquafit. However, learning to swim will introduce you to a whole new world of water-based activities in the pool and beyond.

Join a club

If you enjoy swimming and want to get more involved, consider joining a club. Clubs are a great way to make new friends, improve your swimming and motivate you to exercise regularly. Most clubs have a lively social scene away from the pool, with trips and nights out. Find a swimming club near you.