Experts’ recommendation says adults should get 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Swimming is an excellent exercise that comes with immense benefits.
Along with being fun and cooling your body’s temperature, swimming is an aerobic exercise that can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. Plus, swimming offers its own unique workout payoffs.
Keep scrolling to find out six ways swimming can improve your health.
Swimming is a full-body workout:
When swimming, you use big segments of both your upper and lower body and each stroke taken, works for different muscle groups, and mixing them up will give you a well-rounded workout. For example;
- 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 burns calories:
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.
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.
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 – 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:
- Make sure you know how to swim.
- 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.