You probably already know that swimming is one of the best exercises on Earth. It’s a total body workout for everything from your arms and legs to your core muscles. It’s also low-impact and easy on the joints. Swimming is a fun way to get into shape fast, but did you know there are lesser-known advantages to a lap in the pool? Here are four unusual benefits of swimming you might not know about.

Fights Depression

There’s just something about swimming that makes people feel happy. People talk about “runner’s high”, but no one ever mentions the euphoria felt while swimming. Maybe it’s because of endorphins, those “feel good” hormones released when you exercise. Or, perhaps it’s the calming blue color of a pool put in by Pittsburgh pool installers that helps all your troubles melt away.

May Help With Asthma

Another unusual benefit of swimming is that it may help people with asthma. You’d assume that the water would be the last place a person with asthma would want to be, but swimming helps increase lung capacity and regulate breathing. Evidence also suggests that the humidity present near the water may help lessen mucus blockage in the airways.

Puts You in Good Company

Swimming is a very social sport and if you own a pool, you’re apt to have a lot of friends that want to use it. However, this isn’t the only good company you’ll be keeping. If you learn how to swim, you’ll be a part of the only 46% of Americans that know how to swim! Over half the country has never learned how to swim, so suit-up and get learning this valuable skill that could save your life.

Increases Intelligence

If your kids need an excuse to stay in the pool a while longer, know that swimming may make them a little smarter. Researchers have found that kids who swim or took swimming lessons, had better motor skills than other children and were able to follow directions and do better in math and reading. When considering whether to install a pool in your backyard, knowing that your kids could learn more as well as enjoy themselves may be the deciding factor.

While swimming is great for everyone, many don’t realize it also helps with depression, asthma and learning abilities in children. When you add in all the hours of fun, swimming could be the most complete exercise of all.

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