Swimming is an excellent activity to boost overall health and development. It’s recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of strenuous activity every week. With swimming, you benefit from a good aerobic exercise that offers benefits comparable to running or jogging, but without it putting any strain on your joints and legs.
Swimming is highly beneficial for the health of individuals, regardless of their age. Physical, as well as mental health, can be enhanced through swimming, even if it’s done for as little as two and a half hours a week. Read on to find out more about all the health benefits of swimming.
It serves as a full body workout
There are many strokes that can be used in swimming that provide a full body workout and work different muscle groups of your body. Breaststroke, sidestroke, freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly stroke aim to raise the heart rate, build strength & endurance, and toning muscles. Whether it’s your core, legs, back, glutes, or arms, swimming improves your muscles’ strength and definition. Kicking of the legs, pulling arms, tightening the core, and more provides a full body workout that makes swimming one of the best aerobic exercises for you to do. It also helps in the building of bone mass.
It builds cardiovascular strength
The cardiovascular system refers to the heart, circulatory system, and lungs, and cardio is an important aspect of all exercise plans. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that can help keep the lungs and heart strong while improving the circulatory system’s functioning. Swimmers tend to have half the mortality rate that inactive people have and swimming also helps in the regulation of blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
It reduces inflammation
The cardiovascular benefits of swimming are well known. Strengthening of the heart muscle isn’t the only advantage though. Aerobic activities like swimming also help reduce inflammation, which is responsible for the heart’s atherosclerosis build-up. The fact that it helps reduce inflammation throughout the body makes it a great way to ward off diseases or even slow down disease progression.
It helps those with injuries, arthritis, or other conditions
Swimming serves as an effective exercise option for those suffering from arthritis, disabilities, injuries, or any other type of condition. Such conditions tend to limit the options for workouts, making high impact as well as high resistance exercises difficult. Water offers support to the muscles and resistance, which makes swimming an effective choice for such individuals. Swimming can offer pain relief from a variety of conditions and promote quicker recovery from injuries.
Asthmatics can benefit from swimming
There are several breath control exercises used in swimming that can give asthmatics control over their breathing and increase the capacity of the lungs. Exercising in itself can lead to shortage of breath due to dry gym air or even seasonal pollen counts. The humid environment around swimming pools helps you breathe in moist air while you’re training to alleviate symptoms of asthma and improve lung condition. Even those who don’t have asthma can benefit from the expanded lung capacity and breathing techniques learnt through swimming.
You can remain flexible
Swimming is a great way to boost flexibility because the various strokes necessitate that you stretch, reach, twist, and pull your way while you swim through the water. You will have to stretch and push yourself against the resistance posed by water and this can help you to improve your level of flexibility. There’s no reason for you to stop stretching by yourself though. Swimming will just give you an added advantage.
It can help to tackle symptoms of multiple sclerosis
A condition like multiple sclerosis results in a lot of pain and getting someone who has this condition to exercise is difficult. Swimming is a good option for such people and has been found to reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms and provide pain relief. The water in a swimming pool offers buoyancy which helps to support limbs and muscles. Water also offers gentle resistance which makes swimming an ideal exercise option for individuals with multiple sclerosis.
You can burn calories through swimming
Swimming is an excellent way to burn calories by doing something that’s fun and exciting without breaking into a sweat or even feeling like you’re actually exercising. On the basis of the stroke you choose, you can burn the same amount or even more calories through swimming than through running. Just 10 minutes of swimming can help you burn 60 calories if you use a breast stroke; 80 calories using a backstroke; 100 calories through freestyle; or even 150 calories if you use a butterfly stroke. With running, you can burn approximately 100 calories if you run a 10 minute mile. Let’s put this into perspective: you’ll be able to burn 150 more calories through a 30 minute butterfly stroke swim than you would if you were to run a 5k within that time frame.
Another great thing with swimming is that obese/overweight people can also practice it regularly to lose weight without straining themselves to the extent that other physical activity would require.
You may see an improvement in sleep quality
Aerobic exercises like swimming have been found to help individuals suffering from insomnia sleep better. Not only are such individuals able to maintain regular sleep cycles, but they also report seeing an improvement in the quality of sleep they get on a daily basis. Sleep’s importance in maintaining overall health has been well documented, so the fact that swimming helps to improve sleep quality is great news for those who have spent way too much time fretting over their sleep troubles. Since swimming is also accessible to individuals with disabilities, they too can benefit from an improvement in the quality of their sleep.
It acts as a stress buster
Stress isn’t great for the body. Not only does it result in mental turmoil, but it also has a negative impact on the physiological functioning of the body. Swimming, like other exercises, helps release endorphins or the happy hormones that can act as a stress buster. Relaxation is made possible through stretching movements involved as well as deep breathing. You can even enjoy meditative states and drown out all your other distractions by focusing on breathing and the sound of the rushing water.
It can elevate your mood
By releasing endorphins in the body, swimming helps to elevate an individual’s mood. The development of social skills and greater sense of confidence can boost self-esteem, which positively impacts mood. An individual’s mood can greatly impact their health, so improvements in mood are a good sign for their health outcomes.
It promotes physical as well as mental development
Swimming helps boost motor skills development, hand eye coordination, and language, thereby promoting overall physical and mental development. The proper pace of development can help improve the functioning of the various systems in the body and have positive health outcomes.
All these physical and psychological health benefits offered by swimming can increase the longevity of lifespans and reduce the mortality rate of swimmers by half.
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