4 things Open water swimming cures

  2 Mike Lewis | March 02nd, 2014 | Featured, Masters, News, Open Water

Well maybe it’s a reach to say open water swimming has curative benefits but there’s a whole lot of swimmers out there who say it does.  So here’s a fun stab at a few of the things open water swimming may heal:

1. Boredom.  Sure swimming long distances in the open water may appear boring.   Well actually there’s a lot to keep your mind engaged in the open water from navigating a course without the aid of lane lines, lane markers or walls.  Open water swimmers actually report some amazing things from there swims.  Also some open water swimmer have an amazing ability to sing entire albums to themselves.  Diana Nyad purportedly can sing whole Neil Young albums to herself while swimming.

2. Loneliness.  It may seem like you’re all alone on somewhere off the shores of Newport Beach during the annual summer “Newport Pier to Pier Swim” but once you’ve completed the course the stories and fun times with a bunch of old and new friends will go on well throughout the weekend to keep you company.

3. High cholesterol – There are a whole bunch of masters open water swimmers who credit open water swimming with their improved cholesterol readings.

4. Insanity.  Here’s a one that a lot of folks may dispute, especially the sprinters in the crowd who think swimming ultra long distances is CRAZY, but regular long bouts of swimming may keep neurotransmitters at optimal levels leading to productive focus and a calm sense of well-being.

Admittedly the benefits of swimming in the pool and open water are on par with one another.  Moreover, not everyone experiences the same benefits from swimming.  What does swimming cure in your life?

See you in the water!


  1. 0

    5. Aggression/Anger – Nothing mellows me out more than a good swim, pool or open water, but the ‘fight’ against the waves, the wind, the currents (and, sometimes your competitors) in open water really removes all traces of anger or aggression.

    6. Mental roadblocks – virtually all of my professional (and personal) breakthroughs in thinking have come during a swim. There is nothing quite like a swim to get your mind ‘unstuck’ and flowing free with creativity.

  2. Kari K says:

    I agree with you, Patrick! I’ve noodled on all kinds of dillemmas about work or otherwise while keeping a steady beat. I’m about to take over the world at this point.

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About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis has nearly three decades of open water swimming experience as both an athlete and coach. He has worked with a wide range of athletes including Olympians and World Record Holders. Mike was as an administrator in the U.S. Olympic movement for 10 years and was a team director for the 2000 Olympic games. Mike himself is an avid swimmer and has notched several top 10 rankings in US Masters swimming. Mike and his wife Cynthia founded "Did you swim today?" – a global gathering place for swimmers to share their positive experiences in the pool and the open water. Read More »