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Why Freelancers Should Become Swimmers

swimAnne’s admission – I love to swim, and when Conner proposed this article I thought ‘why not?’ Of course, we’re smack dab in the middle of the summer Olympics – and so I pander a bit.

Why swim or at least take a dip now and then?

 Working from home or being a freelancer sounds like the ideal solution for many people. It can offer you better work-life balance.

Working for yourself can also give you the flexibility to take time off when you need it or look after children.

However, studies have shown that working from home can actually be more stressful than working a standard office job. Home and trying to balance your own work schedule can be demanding.

One of the main reasons for the increase in stress is that it can be harder to focus at home. This leads to a feeling of not being able to complete task and meet deadlines.

This increase in stress levels can lead to high blood pressure and other potential ailments. Now, we’re not trying to put you off working as a freelancer. We simply want to help you minimise your stress levels and increase your productivity.

Swimming Reduces Stress Levels

It’s definitely no secret the exercise can lift your mood and make your feel better about yourself.

A hard swimming workout releases endorphins which goes a long way to making you feel good. It’s the same feeling as experiencing something new or exciting for the first time.

Swimming also helps us to significantly reduce stress hormones by allowing your muscles to relax. This can lead to you feeling less tense when working.

Furthermore, swimming has similar effects to yoga and meditation. This is because when you are swimming, you are constantly focussed on your breathing pattern or stroke rate. Your body’s natural response to this focus is relaxation.

Swimming Improves Cognitive Function

 You don’t even have to swim for this one; simply being in the water can have an impact on your cognitive performance, according to a study by the University of Western Australia School of Sport Science.

During the study, nine males stood still in a tank which was being filled by water. The study concluded that as the water was surrounding a specific artery of the heart, blood flow to the brain improved.

The researches concluded that swimming based exercises can therefore, have a beneficial impact on your cognitive function, making tasks like working easier and more productive.

Getting Out the House

If you’re a freelancer who works primarily from home, you know what it’s like feeling you’re stuck there all the time. Having a sport, like swimming is an excellent escapism as it forces you to step away from your working environment.

Furthermore, swimming allows your brain to completely switch off. When you work for yourself, work can constantly be on your mind. Swimming length after length may appear tedious, however it is far from that. When you are swimming, your mind completely wanders, jumping from topic to topic.

Reducing Illness

 A huge pain of freelancing is that when you’re ill and out of work, you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that.

It’s well known now that regular exercise is an amazing tool for reducing the risk of getting ill, therefore reducing the risk of being out of work. There’s far more to exercise than just losing weight and feeling good. Your body will work much better.

Studies have shown that exercise helps to prolong life by slowing down the ageing process. Of course, this needs to be coupled up with a good diet too. Unfortunately exercise doesn’t negate the effects of a bad diet!

Swimming is one of the best sports out there for a full body workout and it doesn’t discriminate between age, race or injury. You don’t to make swimming a draining, tough activity; it can be light-moderate exercise and you’ll still reap the benefits listed above

Anne adds: Do I need to say it? The exercise doesn’t have to be swimming – you know you need to work out some, don’t you?

Conner David WriterConnor David s a freelancer with a background in elite sport and a degree in linguistics and translation. Formerly a freelance swimming teacher and coach, Connor now focusses on writing at MyKindofMonday.com, social media and content marketing.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Lisa Cunningham

    Exercise can help you fight off getting Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, too. Swimming is my favorite exercise because my balance issue doesn’t matter in the water. I had a stroke from cancer radiation several years ago and it threw off my balance.

    • Trust you’re feeling better Lisa – tough row to hoe – and yes, exercise seems to help everything.

  • I’m glad I saw this post, Anne. I’m taking swim lessons now and it’s a fun activity. I get to exercise my mind and body (working on getting comfortable at the deep end); I meet cool people; and it allows me to just be. It also allows me to laugh at myself.
    Marcie recently posted..What Are Your Freelance Writing, Blogging & Self-Publishing Challenges?My Profile

  • Swimming’s not for me. I always sink right to the bottom of the pool. I walk every night by a big lake where other people are swimming, close enough?

  • Actually, a swim place opened up near my home and I do swim several times a week, almost every day that I can. It does help to get away from the computer. I find the hardest thing working for myself is when I write and people either choose not to pay, drag their feet on paying, or promise me work that does not come through on time. Plus, I’ve done free work, but I would rather work for money. Free is okay, but it doesn’t pay my bills. I’ve applied some places that promised ongoing work, but they did not get back to me. So, swimming helps me get away from all this, at least for a moment.
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    • Swimming? Wonderful exercise for mind and body. We live in an apartment complex with a 15-metre pool. I try to get down to it three times a week at least. My routine? To swim the equivalent of roughly half a kilometre, that is, 500 metres each time. Up the pool and back 17 times for 34 lengths or 510 metres. The crawl one way; on my back the other, my arms under water forcefully pushing me along. Breathing deeply as as I go. Takes about 25 to 30 minutes. After that, about five minutes in the hot tub beside the pool and then a few more minutes in the adjacent sauna. Makes me feel like an athlete again. The upper body stronger, with better posture; the mind ready to work again, sometimes with a keener insight into what I’m writing at the moment, especially one of my plays. Ideas, in fact, often come to mind as I’m swimming. Yes, that’s how the scene should end. Of course. At 78, i figure I’m adding years to my life. Each length, yes, another hour or even a day to live. Great stuff.

      • Oh my goodness… and here, as you described your swimming routine I figured you were in your 40s or younger… I recognize the strokes. Good for you! Impressed with what I see on your website as well. Canada is so tempting… even more so now.

    • Yeah, swimming is a great stress reliever.

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