Now that summer is in full swing, swimming has become a favorite pastime. All swimming is fun and good for you, as long as you are safe. However, there are so many benefits to swimming laps or doing water aerobics that many people are unaware of. My favorite thing that leads me to swim rather than run: no sweating!! In addition, there is no special equipment required- just a swimsuit and a pool membership!
The top 5 benefits are as follows:
- Excellent cardiovascular exercise. Simply put, if you don’t swim, you sink. Therefore, just the act of being in the water and staying afloat provides a good cardiovascular workout. Swimming laps, using any stroke, will provide excellent benefits. Obviously, just as in any cardio exercise, the faster you swim, the more you work that heart muscle.
- Improvement of Muscle and Bone Strength: Swimming uses all of the muscles in your body, and strengthens and defines them. Unlike running, which concentrates on leg muscles, swimming requires simultaneous use of your arms, legs, core and back muscles. All are given a good workout in a 30 minute swim. And there is about 12 times more resistance in the water than on land, so you are strengthening and toning while getting a cardiovascular workout. In addition, studies have shown that swimming with resistance improves bone density as well.
- Easy on joints: Since there is little impact on the joints, swimming is an excellent way to stay in shape without stressing joints. It is great for those with arthritis or other joint ailments, especially if the pool is heated. In fact, immersion in water can help bear your body weight from 50-90%, depending on how much of your body you immerse.
- Improves flexibility: With swimming, your body is stretched and continues to stretch as you reach with your strokes and kick with your legs. Your torso moves from side to side, so you get a total body stretch. This leads to increased overall flexibility. Flexibility can be enhanced even further by participating in a water aerobics class with stretching exercises.
- Reduces depression: As with any aerobic exercise, swimming increases the production of endorphin, the “feel good” chemical that makes us happy, similar to a runner’s high. Swimming allows time for mediation as well, so it can leave you feeling happy and refreshed in mind and body. .
There are plenty of places to take swimming lessons if you don’t swim, and the benefits are well worth it to learn. Swimming has been a part of my life since childhood, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. It is something you can do year-round, it is inexpensive, and it is so great for your body. Plus, I don’t feel guilty about not doing weights so often, because I am toning up and getting my strength training done in the pool, sweat free 🙂 Swim happy, my friends!