Should I Swim Everyday?


daily swimming a woman dives into a swimming pool

I just love swimming every day, and it is now a fundamental part of my daily routine. I just don’t feel myself without getting in the water.

As a general rule, it is possible to swim every day however, if you do decide to take a daily dip you will need to alter your swim sessions so you can rest, recover, avoid injury from overuse, and for some, employ good skin and hair care to prevent pool chemicals making your hair and skin overly dry.

When I first started swimming every day, I felt great and unstoppable. However, I made the classic rookie mistake of not resting enough.

Don’t expect to keep a high-intensity pace every day when you swim unless you are a professional athlete. It is very easy to exhaust yourself and fall out of the daily routine.

It is okay to have slower days mixed in with more high-intensity training days.

A light swim can act as a wonderful recovery from a hard swimming session, so keep it mixed up and varied.

Below is an example of a swim routine that can help keep you swimming every day:

  • Monday: Long Endurance Swim
  • Tuesday: Steady Relaxed Pace Swim
  • Wednesday: Short Recovery Swim
  • Thursday: Speed Swim – High Intensity
  • Friday: Steady Relaxed Pace Swim
  • Saturday: Day Off
  • Sunday: Short recover Swim

This is just a guideline that may help you think about your swimming week.

Like all regular swimming or fitness training in general, it is important to rest and recover, so always listen to your body and don’t be hard on yourself.

In this article, I am going to explore:

  • How to know if you are swimming too much
  • How many days a week you should swim
  • The advantages of swimming daily
  • The disadvantages of swimming daily
  • What happens to your body if you swim every day
  • How to recover when you swim every day

When Should I Stop Swimming Every day?

I have read so many books about the benefits of swimming, and how we should be all swimming as much as possible. I think it is important to share some experience on when you should take a break from swimming.

A fantastic book that helped me manage my swimming expectations and successfully help me recover so I could swim every day was the Athletes Guide to Recovery: Rest, Relax, and Restore for Peak Performance (The Athlete’s Guide)” by Sage Rountree

What I really discovered was the simple rule: when swimming stops being fun, take a break.

If swimming stops being fun, ask your body why. Maybe you are moving into exhaustion. Pull back. Rest.

So many gurus talk about adversity training (which I am a big fan of) and fatiguing the body to make it strong, but there is a fine line between a good workout and exhaustion.

If your body is screaming no and you are no longer look forward to your daily swim, it could be a sign that you are shifting into an exhaustion phase. So listen to your body and take a few days off.

How Many Days A Week Should I Swim?

How often you swim will depend on your swimming goals.

If you are like me and just love being in the water, every day is good, but if you are swimming for weight loss, a cardio workout or strength training, you can tailor the number of days and lengths you swim accordingly.

As a guide, here is the number of days a week that is good to swim if you are aiming for these goals.

SWIMMING GOALHOW MANY DAYS A WEEK TO SWIM
Weightloss30mins, 4 to 5 Days Per Week
Build Muscle20mins, 4 to 5 Days Per Week
Triathlon Training3 Longer Swim Sessions Per Week
Fitness30mins, 5 Days Per Week

I have covered this subject in more detail in another article exploring swimming distance and times for a good workout.

The Advantages of Swimming Every Day

There are some wonderful advantages to swimming regularly.

1 – Improved General Fitness

The health benefits of swimming are well-documented and even a gentle swim can get your heart rate up, lungs working and improve your general fitness and well-being.

2 – Improved Muscle Tone

Swimming is a resistance sport. Pulling and pushing against the water is a low-impact weight training activity.

With regular swimming, you will work all the muscles in your body and, with a little time, perhaps even get the desired swimmer’s body!

Because swimming is a very low-impact sport that puts little stress on your joints compared to other activities, it is a wonderful sport to build and improve muscle tone.

3 – Better Sleep Patterns

Swimming every day can help improve your sleep.

As it burns a lot of calories, it is a fantastic activity to burn off all that daily stress and excess energy.

In addition, it can help relax the body and help you mentally prepare for a deeper sleep.

4 – Improved Mental Health

This is my favourite benefit of swimming – improved mental health.

Swimming, in particular, has proven to reduce the levels of depression and anxiety.

When you mindfully swim and feel the motion of your body through the water, it can really help calm the mind and gain perspective on life.

In addition, swimming is not a solo sport like many seem to believe. Joining a swimming club, or outdoor swimming group, creates a wonderful sense of belonging and community.

5 – Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

Swimming is an ideal sport to get the heart and lungs working hard. It is also an aerobic exercise that helps to strengthen the heart, as a result, leading to better blood flow.

According to research, 30 minutes of swimming a day can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent.

https://www.swimstrongfoundation.org/

This exact piece of research relates to women, but men benefit just as well!

6 – Low Impact Full-Body Workout

Unlike high impact sports like running, swimming is a low-impact sport.

This means that it does not exert excessive stress, strain, wear and tear on your body and joints.

When you run, your knees and legs take constant impact as you pound the pavement, but as water is denser than air, we can swim through it, getting gentle resistance on our muscles and joints without exposing them to any shock or high-impact moves.

7 – Greater Sense of Well-Being

There can be a wonderful sense of well-being and achievement from swimming.

From achieving a daily goal of a certain amount of lengths to just enjoying a sunlit pool on a sunny morning, swimming offers so many avenues to gain enjoyment from.

8 – Better Ability to Cope

After a morning swim, I find I am better able to cope with the stresses the day throws at me.

Swimming releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones that keep you positive.

After a morning swim, at around 7am, I feel happy and positive, which seems to last for most of the day.

9 – Weight Loss

As swimming is a full-body workout, it uses a lot of calories.

Here is a general guide of how much different swim strokes burn calories. Of course, how many calories you burn will depend on the duration and intensity of your workout.

Swim StrokeTimeCalories
Breaststroke8mins-10mins60
Freestyle8mins-10mins100
Backstroke8mins-10mins80
Butterfly8mins-10mins150

I’ve explored this topic in greater detail in my article looking at swimming for weight loss, including workout plans and calorie burning charts.

10 – Improved Flexibility & Posture

Swimming can stretch and extend your muscles, improving flexibility.

It feels great to “reach for the wall” and stretch out your back and shoulder muscles.

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This will help keep your muscles happy and flexible.

Personally, as I spent a fair bit of time hunched over a keyboard in an office, I find swimming helps to align my posture and improve my neck and shoulder position.

The Disadvantages of Swimming Every Day

Of course, swimming every day can have some drawbacks including;

1 – Possible Dry & Dull Hair

If you swim in a pool each day, you will expose your hair to the pool chemicals such as chlorine, which can bond with the hair, making it look frazzled and dry with time.

There are certain steps you can take to protect your hair from the harsh pool chemicals as given by a professional hairdresser, which I have covered in this article, Do Chlorine Removal Shampoos Work? A hairdresser weighs in

2 – Possible Dry Skin

The chlorine and other pool chemicals, including just the hardness of some water, can cause dry skin.

In addition, the hot steam air that also floats about swimming pools can dry out your skin.

Personally, I cope with dry skin effects and pool chemicals by using a good body wash shower gel that helps remove chlorine, such as the TRISWIM Moisturizing Chlorine Removing Body Wash For Swimmers

3 – Possible Swimming Injury

Like all sports and activities that you do daily, there is the risk of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

With swimmers, some common injuries are shoulder and knee injuries.

With a good swim technique, such as the total immersion swim method, you can reduce this risk.

In addition, by varying your stroke and mixing it up, such as alternating backstroke with breaststroke and freestyle, you can keep different parts of your body moving without overdoing just one particular area.

4 – Expensive Sport

Swimming involves either:

  • Access to a public pool which is expensive
  • Access to a private pool, which is expensive.

This can be a disadvantage of swimming every day for many, as it is an expensive sport to get involved with because of expensive pool membership fees.

5 – Time Consuming

Unlike sports such as running, where you can just put on a pair of running shoes and go out your front door, it can take some extra effort and time to go to a swimming pool.

Commuting to the pool, getting changed, swimming, showering, getting changed again, and then the commute home is a lot of time and just too much of a commitment for many people to do regularly.

What Happens To Your Body If You Swim Every Day?

As a general rule, swimming every day will increase your cardio fitness (heart and lungs), improve muscle tone, improve sleep patterns and as a result, cognitive function, and improve mental health and general well-being as a result of seeing regular faces in the pool and achieving swim goals.

Typically, it can between 6 to 8 weeks before you can see any significant physical improvements, such as muscle tone, but this varies depending on the individual and how many timers and with what intensity they swim per week.

If you would like to know more about this subject, I have gone into far more depth in my article, Can Swimming Give You Abs? – The facts and road to success.

How To Recovery So You Can Swim Regularly?

Like all sports and activities, if you want to swim regularly, it is essential to rest and recover.

Although we like to think we are invincible, we are not machines with limitless energy, and we need to rest and recover from strenuous exercise.

Even the top athletes in the world factor recovery time into their fitness routine so they can keep working out without fatigue or injury.

If you want to swim every day, ensure you factor in recovery swims at least one time per week.

A recovery swim is a gentle swim, where you just enjoy the water, stretch your muscles and do very light gentle swimming.

You are still exercising, but you are not working so hard as to tire or fatigue your body.

You might feel a little tired afterwards, but you should have a good energy level, ready for a more strenuous swim the next day.

If you want to dig much deeper into the world of sports recovery, I recommend Athletes Guide to Recovery: Rest, Relax, and Restore for Peak Performance (The Athlete’s Guide) by Sage Rountree which is an excellent step-by-step guide on how to recover after exercise and injury or illness.

Louise Byrne

Hi, I am Louise and I am obsessed with swimming. I spend my free time in the water or getting ready for my next water adventure.

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