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Swimming is good for your heart!

Fitness & Wellness
Written by: Marco Borreca at 14 February '18 0
You are reading: Swimming is good for your heart!

Find out all the cardiovascular benefits of swimming!

Swimming is the most beneficial sport of all for both your body and mind: it keeps you fit and improves your overall health, particularly your cardio-respiratory system.

Various studies (one of the most important of which was carried out by Texas University and published in the “American Journal of Cardiology”) show that swimming regularly improves the heart’s vascular function and lowers your blood pressure.

Researchers reached this conclusion after studying the results of forty volunteers with sedentary lifestyles. After three months’ swimming, various benefits were noted: their systolic blood pressure dropped and their carotid artery became more flexible enabling it to pump more effectively.

You heart will smile and thank you for it!

Swimming is mainly an aerobic activity with various definite benefits on a cardiovascular level.

If you swim regularly and consistently (I advise twice or three times-a-week), your heart muscle gets used to consuming less oxygen and wasting less energy, which means it beats more slowly.

As well as this major benefit, swimming will also have the following effects on your heart:

  • It will get bigger
  • The capacity of the left ventricle will be increased.
  • It will contract faster and more effectively.
  • The quantity and quality of your coronary arteries transporting blood to your heart will be increased.
  • Your cholesterol levels will decrease.
  • It will control your glycaemic levels more effectively.
  • Your blood pressure will drop.

Useful advice for avoiding any mishaps

Since swimming requires considerable physical exertion, I suggest you undergo a medical check with an electrocardiogram (ideally under exertion). You should not consider this to be a waste of time or money, but rather a way of protecting your health.

Another important piece of advice is not to be in a hurry: it is always better to begin gradually without overdoing it or trying to beat the world record for 50 m freestyle. Try to maintain a steady pace over your entire swim, consuming energy and calories for at least 40/45 minutes.

Make sure your heart rate stays below its maximum, which for an untrained person with no cardiovascular problems is approximately 120 bpm. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, you can check your heart rate by placing your index or middle finger on your pulse or neck, counting the number of beats for 15 seconds and then multiplying that figure by four.

Remember to rest: the recovery phase is, in fact, of fundamental importance. Everything is fine if your heart rate drops fairly quickly. If, on the other hand, it is slow to return to normal, it means you do not recover very well; in this case it is advisable to rest longer and possibly consult a cardiologist.

Enjoy a healthy swim and good recovery ready for the next article!

Author

Written by:

Marco Borreca

Marco Borreca was born in Milan in 1985. After his competitive swimming career, he continued his sports studies graduating from the faculty of Preventive and Adaptive Motor Sciences in Pavia. He has been working as a swimming/ fitness instructor and rehabilitation expert at various sports centres since he was very young. He mainly focuses on using water for recovering motor skills in the case of sports injuries and disabilities. He currently works for a municipal sports centre as the Head of Fitness and also works for a private practice as a kinesiologist.

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