Today, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Health Benefits of Consistent Swimming

The Health Benefits of Consistent Swimming

The list of swimming benefits is extensive, but definitely worth knowing. Many people call swimming the perfect exercise. Its appeal spreads across all age groups and physical conditions. There are various reasons to use the natural movements associated with water activities. For strength building, weight loss, and recreation, swimmers everywhere are gaining health benefits even when unaware. So, how can it help you?

A total body workout

Swimming works the entire body. It improves muscle strength and flexibility; encouraging good posture in the process. Endurance is greatly increased, along with calorie burning. But perhaps the most significant benefit is how swimming affects your heart. It is excellent for your cardiovascular system because of the positive way it generates oxygen without overworking your heart. Blood flow to the heart and lungs becomes more efficient and your resting heart rate is reduced.

Another advantage to swimming is that it effectively tones your upper and lower body; incorporating virtually all of the major muscle groups. Techniques like the backstroke, freestyle, and the breaststroke are particularly good at targeting the most number of muscles at once. Using the arms, legs, and lungs together boosts acrobatic capacity. You will build heart muscle; optimizing the way it pumps blood. Steadily increasing your heart rate and triggering muscle activity makes swimming the total body workout.

Low injury risk

One of the best swimming benefits is that there is no pressure put on your bones, joints, or connecting tissue. This makes it different than other exercises like running or jogging. Buoyancy makes swimming extremely safe because it effectively lowers your body weight to 1/10th less than your land weight. Because of the water’s support, the risk of injury is substantially less.

A lot of athletes swim while recovering from other sports injuries to rebuild strength without worrying about the impact of their own weight. In fact, swimming is such a low-impact activity; pregnant women enjoy it to deal with the strain of carrying a baby. Being in the water increases circulation and builds the shoulder and abdominal muscles.

Weight Loss

The benefits of swimming also encompass efficient caloric burn. The average swimmer burns the same amount of calories in one hour as a runner does after running six miles. The specific burn rate is 3 calories per mile for every pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and swim one mile in 30 minutes, you have just burned 900 calories in an hour.

It is worth noting that several factors should be considered when calculating how much weight you will lose. Intensity and your current weight are relevant to any form of exercise. With swimming, as you build intensity, you will burn more calories. Using the above example at a moderate intensity level, you would potentially burn around 600 calories per hour. But take your time and be careful not to rush into any long sessions. Most experts advise beginning with a 12 to 20 minute time limit for beginners.

Maximize other workouts

If you already work out using weights or other equipment, cross-training is among the swimming benefits you will experience. Before a workout, it is a great way to warm up and loosen muscles; preparing them for activity. After you have finished working out, swim a few laps to cool down and relax your muscles; again keeping them flexible. A post-workout swim helps muscles recover by moving blood through them; it also helps you ease back into a normal state of breathing. Athletes use swimming to give them an edge. They notice improvement in strength and endurance with whatever sport or workout they engage in.

Psychological benefits

Stress reduction is vital to staying healthy. By forcing you to control your breathing, swimming circulates more oxygen throughout your body. As a result, it has a relaxing effect; almost like meditation. Plus, you cannot swim while doing other activities, so it allows you to focus with little effort. With practice, you can swim instinctively; having your mind wander off to wherever it feels content. An early morning swim leaves you refreshed and ready to take on the day. Or, an afternoon swim works through all of the daily stresses you encounter. Either way, there is something soothing about the rhythm of your strokes. It adds to the healing power of the water.

Swimming in groups is good for developing healthy interaction and social skills. Joining a water aerobics class or swim team aids in discipline, time management, sportsmanship, and setting goals. Also, it enhances a sense of self-worth; a key ingredient to overall well being. The balanced mindset carries into the classroom as well. In general, swimmers are likely to do better in school. This can be attributed to the balance and boost in self-confidence.


Research shows that regular swimming can actually help you live longer. It reduces and possibly prevents high blood pressure; a major cause of heart disease and strokes. In addition, the weightless environment is easier for aging joints to move in. People who live a life of little movement often have the most complications. Our bodies need to be active in order to function at an optimal level.

While all physical activities are good if done properly, some are better than others when it comes to longevity. A recent study examined over 40,000 people ranging from 20 to 90 years of age. The swimmers were 50% less likely to die than runners or walkers during the 32 year study period. That is an amazing statistic, but it makes sense if you considera the way your body responds to the constant shock absorption of running vs. the freedom of swimming.

When deliberating on all of the health-related reasons to swim, it is normal to look past its recreational value. The variety of water activities transcends just doing laps. You can be creative with exercises and games. Involve friends and family to keep everyone active in a fun way. Remember, all ages can participate, so no one is left out. Be sure to tell everyone to head for the pool to enjoy all of the swimming benefits; and live better and longer.

Resources – Ezine - WebMD

References - Swimming Benefits - Lifescript - About

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