Swimming is an activity that works your entire body and your cardiovascular system. When you swim for an hour, it burns as many calories as running but there is no impact on your joints or bones. There are many benefits that you gain from swimming and incorporating swimming into your routine is something you should consider. So, what are the ways that swimming benefits you?
- Swimming is a whole-body workout. You increase your heartrate without putting stress on your body and helps you to build strength, endurance and tones your muscles. Each different swimming stroke works a different group of muscles. There is the butterfly, sidestroke, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.
- Swimming is low impact, so it works well for people who have pre-existing injuries, disabilities, arthritis or other conditions that make it hard to complete high impact exercises. Swimming is a safe option because it requires less physical exertion and reduces joint pain and stiffness.
- Swimming burns a lot of calories quickly. If you swim for about an hour you can expect to burn around four hundred calories. If you swim at a vigorous pace you can expect to burn around seven hundred calories. If you were walking for the same amount of time, you might burn around three hundred calories. Swimming builds your upper body out including your middle back, triceps, lats and the backs of your arms. Swimming helps to strengthen your back because there is no hard impact on it like there is when you hold it in an unnatural position like you would while being bent forward riding a bike.
- Swimming helps you to sleep better. Swimming boosts sleep quality over any other type of exercise including biking, exercise videos, running or using a piece of exercise equipment. As we age, we have higher likelihood to experience insomnia, so swimming regularly can help with this problem.
- Swimming is one of the lowest cost activities, so it is affordable for everyone. Your local community pool probably offers low-cost rates for you to join or attend some sessions. There are often options on a sliding scale for low-income families as well.
- Swimming is safe for pregnant women. The buoyancy can relieve pressure from carrying a heavy baby and from the lower back while improving blood circulation. It can also reduce swelling in the lower limbs relieving pressure and discomfort. Swimming can also improve the abdominal core, strengthening the muscles.
- If you need a mood boost, swimming is a good option. Research has shown that swimming can improve the psychological well-being of people who have psychological and behavioral symptoms as well as people who have dementia. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24521103)
- Swimming is very beneficial for babies in that it may improve their cognitive function, helps to reduce drowning risk, boosts confidence, and helps them to bond with parents through skin-to-skin contact. Babies that swim regularly develop coordination and muscles because they are in an environment where they experience freedom of movement through buoyancy. It can also increase balance, circulation, and improve cardiovascular fitness.
- Swimming can improve respiratory function in the way that you breathe during swimming. If you are running or biking your breath is shallow and you exhale forcefully. It is the opposite when you are swimming. You breathe in quickly and deeply and the air comes out slowly. As your head is often under water during swimming, the adjustments to your breathing are necessary and can improve your respiratory muscles.
- Swimming can lower your risk of diseases. If you swim just 30 minutes a week, it can help you to protect yourself against stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Swimming is a great way to exercise without breaking a sweat. You will never sweat while you are swimming because the water will constantly work to keep your body cool.
There are so many great benefits to swimming. If you have been looking for a good way to get some exercise that is low impact and affordable, then swimming fits into those categories. Swimming is a great way to work every part of your body in a low impact environment which is good for any age and any level of fitness. It is perfect if you have an injury that you need to heal from while still getting exercise in because you can move without putting undue pressure on any of your joints or bones. Swimming is something everyone can learn to do from the very young to the very old.
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