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Did you know that swimming is the 4th most popular kind of exercise in the US?
If splashing around in the pool isn’t your thing, you might need to change your perspective. Why? Because there’s a great reason why swimming is so popular — it’s so so so good for you!
Why is swimming good for you? What are the health benefits of swimming? Are there any other advantages of swimming?
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. There are many health benefits of swimming laps–from toning the core to speeding up the metabolism. Swimming can also help you lose weight. You may even be able to relieve some of the stress in your life by starting a swim program.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in and start swimming!
1. Health Benefits of Swimming
Why is swimming good for you? The number one reason is that there are a HUGE amount of health benefits of swimming, both inside and out.
Swimming works out your entire body and cardiovascular system. Many exercises and sports target specific areas. But when you’re swimming you get an all-over body workout.
Here are some other major health benefits of swimming:
- Aerobic exercise that keeps your heart rate up
- Builds endurance and cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthens and tones muscles
- Improves balance, coordination, and posture
- Helps you to be more flexible
And the list goes on!
While your muscles are getting a great workout, your cardiovascular system is too. It can make your heart and lungs strong which may reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues in the future.
Swimming has a unique advantage over other cardio workouts because it requires a smaller time and effort than most. You can burn approximately 150 calories per hour.
In fact, according to researchers, swimmers have half the risk of death compared to those who are inactive. That’s got to be one of the top advantages of swimming that will motivate you to jump in!
2. Fun for All
Whether you’re old or young, fit or unfit, underweight or overweight, swimming is an activity for all. You can even do it while you’re pregnant.
Swimming is also a safe form of exercise for people who suffer from health conditions. For example:
- Injuries (such as back problems)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- And many other issues that can make high-impact exercises difficult or painful
Let’s take arthritis for example. Running and other high-impact exercises can be painful and actually cause more damage to the joints.
But you don’t have to give up on exercise. Swimming can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness, without the jarring effect of high-impact exercise.
There are advantages of swimming for people with asthma too. The humid pool air firstly creates the perfect environment for someone suffering from asthma. Holding your breath underwater may help to strengthen your lung capacity too.
3. Start Swimming for Mental Health
As well as the many health benefits of swimming for the body, swimming can also help your mind. Firstly, it’s a relaxing way to detach yourself from this crazy world. There’s just something about water that helps to alleviate stress.
Studies also show that aerobic exercise can boost your mood because of the increased production of endorphins. These brain chemicals can produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
5. Catch Some Zzzzz’s
According to a study, swimming can help adults who are suffering from insomnia to have a better nights sleep. Many older people suffer from insomnia, and swimming is a great aerobic exercise they can do without straining their joints. Even if you don’t have a sleep condition, having a good quality snooze can give you a boost of energy the next day.
Yes, a good night’s sleep is one of the most appealing advantages of swimming!
6. Lose Weight, Tone Up
Cardio exercise makes your heart beat faster and you’ll get out of breath. Swimming is a great calorie burning exercise.
There are several ways that you can keep yourself motivated and focused during your workout. One of the most obvious things that you can do to stay motivated is to count the number of calories that you are burning in each swimming session. Tracking your calories burned in an easy-to-read calculator will make you feel more in control and will help you keep your motivation up.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of the distance that you have swum in your previous outings. By doing this you’ll be able to calculate how many more calories you will need to burn in order to reach a particular goal.
Freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly are the main 4 strokes to choose from. Each stroke targets different muscles:
- Freestyle works out your hands, arms, shoulders, neck, legs, abdominals, and obliques.
- Breaststroke works out your hands, arms, chest, shoulders, and upper back. Also your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, shins, and ankles.
- Backstroke works out your hands, forearms, abdominals, shoulders, back, groin, legs, and glutes.
- Butterfly works out your abdominals, glutes, lower back, and legs.
Swimming has been known to lower your blood pressure and increase your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). It also increases the amount of lean muscle that you have.
You can tailor your sessions to exercise specific areas of your body.
7. Everyone Loves a Competition
As noted, there are many health benefits of swimming when exercising. You may start swimming to tone up, but you might find out you’re really good at it.
Learning to swim gives you the opportunity to take your skill to a competitive level. You can enjoy the health benefits of swimming and the thrill of competition at the same time.
A bit of healthy competition can make you push your boundaries. This will improve your endurance and ability. And you may get the chance to take a trophy home someday!
8. A World of Opportunity
Even if you’re not up for a competition, swimming can open up a world of opportunity. When you know how to swim you can do other water-based leisure activities with confidence. For example:
And you can enjoy swimming all over the world. In swimming pools, lakes, underwater caves, waterfalls, rivers, and dams.
In fact, knowing how to swim may even motivate you to build your own private backyard pool. Learn more here about building your own oasis-like pool in your garden.
9. Better Safe Than Sorry
Did you know worldwide more than 1.2 million people die by drowning every single year? That’s two people every minute. Learning to swim is not only good for your body, but it can save lives.
If you learned how to swim when you were young, you probably already feel comfortable in the water. But if you’re an adult and never learned to swim it’s not too late. Better safe than sorry, right?
This lifesaving reason is one of the best advantages of swimming.
Just Keep Swimming
Are you ready to get fit and start swimming?
It’s clear to see that there are MANY benefits of swimming both for your body and mind. And with swimming, there is no age limit. It’s a lifelong exercise plan!
But if swimming doesn’t float your boat, what about another fun sport to get involved in? Check out this article to find out 10 unexpected benefits of playing sports.