If you have a competitive swimmer in the family, you may have spent hours at the pool and even contemplated dipping your own toes in the water. You’ll be encouraged to know that swimming is one of the most beneficial workouts for the body. Not only does swimming raise your heart rate, but it’s also a non-impact activity that protects your bones and joints.
There’s no requirement for swimming. Regardless of age, condition, or even disability, water-based exercises are a great regular aerobic physical activity. Interestingly enough, there’s more than meets the eye to this universal practice. In a recent study by the Center for Disease Control, it was found that swimmers have half the risk of death compared to inactive people. If that’s not a reason to jump in the pool here are a few more reasons for you to start.
Unlike other training methodologies that focus on one part of the body, swimming works your entire body from head to toe. Without overloading your body with heavy weights, swimming tones muscles, build strength and increases endurance in the water. The water offers moderate resistance and the different strokes (breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, freestyle, etc.) allow distinctive muscle groups to be used. By simultaneously engaging all the muscles of the body, swimming develops core strength and can be done for longer periods of time than other activities such as running.
Swimming improves the function of the circulatory system. The flow of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and heart improves wellbeing and decreases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Swimming promotes healthy circulation which is important to the blood vessels and heart as well as the other organs of the body. Strengthening the lungs and lowering blood sugar, swimming is also an ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis or injuries.
Rather than engaging in high-impact activities, swimming offers high-intensity exercise without the wear and tear on the body. Swimming offers a balance to the regular recovery days of weight training giving joints a break from the unforgiving pavement. Contrary to belief, swimming can actually help prevent tightness and soreness by lengthening muscles and relieving pressure.
There’s nothing like closing your eyes and doing backstroke, feeling like a fancy flamingo. Swimming allows a feeling of weightlessness no other exercise can offer. Swimming improves sleep patterns by boosting sleep after the aerobic exercise. Aquatic workouts and swimming release endorphins releasing stress and improving mood. The psychological benefits of exercise go beyond physical as the community of swimmers is always welcoming to anyone entering the waters.
While a 160 lb. person walking for one hour at 3.5 miles/hour would burn 314 calories, the same person swimming at a low pace for one hour would burn 423 calories. Swimming burns calories efficiently without breaking a sweat. Consistently swimming and elevating your heart rate can be an effective form of weight loss. Swimming boosts your metabolism even after washing off and leaving the pool.
The best part about swimming is that it doesn’t require any extravagant equipment. All you need is a swimsuit, cap, and a pair of goggles. Making swimming a consistent fitness routine is choosing to improve your quality of life.
Get passionate about your health and jump in a pool today (: