Swimming is an excellent exercise that comes with immense benefits and consequences if you don’t know how to.
Along with being fun and cooling your body’s temperature especially in areas where the heatwave is causing damage, swimming is an aerobic exercise that can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and comes with unique workout payoffs.
This special relationship with water can improve your health. Here’s how;
Swimming burns calories:
In an article on Insider Magazine, a swimming coach points out that with just leisurely swimming a 155-pound person burns around 220 calories every 30 minutes. Whereas more vigorous strokes like butterfly have been clocked at burning more than 400 calories every 30 minutes, though, the number of calories burned also depends on how skilled you are as a swimmer.
Moving all of those muscles requires a lot of energy, and that burns a lot of calories. So, the more vigorous the workout, the more calories you burn.
Swimming is a full-body workout:
When swimming, you use both your upper and lower body and each stroke taken works for different muscle groups. Mixing them up will give you a well-rounded workout. Heres why;
- Freestyle or crawl stroke, emphasizes shoulder and chest muscles and includes a kick that engages your thighs and rear as well.
- Backstroke works posterior shoulder muscles and the upper back, which promotes good posture.
- Breaststroke exercises the biceps, triceps, pecs, lats, deltoids, and inner thighs.
Swimming improves cardiovascular health:
According to the American Heart Association, a two and a half hour per week moderate-intensity physical activity is perfect for optimal health. It is as good a workout as land-based activities like biking, walking, or a dance class.
Another factor responsible for the benefit is hydrostatic pressure – this is the force a fluid exerts on an object. This pressure of water on the body pushes blood to the heart and improves circulation. Here’s a tip: the deeper you are submerged, the greater the pressure.
Swimming is a low-impact activity:
Since the body is buoyant in water, it reduces body weight by about 90 per cent when a person is submerged to chest level. This is good for people who feel pain, like joint pain, when they work out on land. They can enjoy more freedom of movement in the water. Moreover, hydrostatic pressure can help reduce pain sensitivity from joints. In particular, studies suggest that people with arthritis, neck and back problems, fibromyalgia, and obesity may benefit most from water-based exercise.
Swimming is a good option for people with asthma conditions:
Swimming may be a safer activity for people with asthma unless it is a competitive race. This is because swimming promotes steady, moderate exertion compared with exercise that involves heavy, repetitive breathing, like long-distance running. Indoor swimming pools are perfect as they are warm, humid environments with fewer allergens.
Some general tips for swimming:
Before you dive into the pool, here are some inportant tips;
- Make sure you know how to swim or at least thread in water for 15minutes unaided.
- If not a strong swimmer keep to the shallow end.
- Choose a safe environment.
- Warm up and stretch your muscles and joints before entering the water.
- Have plenty of fluids on hand and drink regularly.
- Don’t overdo it, especially when you’re just starting out.
- See your doctor if you haven’t exercised for a long time.
Do you have questions or comments? Do share with us in the comment section.