Swimming has centuries of history in which it has been used for fitness and exercise, recreation as well as for sport. While the act of swimming is pretty simple, there are a myriad of exercises and strokes that can be executed. These range from freestyle to butterfly strokes to breaststroke to backstroke, among others. Because it can be performed in all bodies of water, swimming is considered to be an ideal form of exercise.
This article is tailored to all the people who want to be fit and would like to start swimming, but don’t know where to begin. Swimming is not only a sport but also an exercise that has numerous benefits. I am going to reveal some important facts about the sport called swimming, which will help you start training with good results.
So, let’s take a deep breath and look at the ten advantages of swimming:
1. Swimming improves muscle definition and strength.
Swimming uses most of the major muscle groups in your body, so it is a great way to improve overall muscle tone and definition. It can be especially effective at toning muscles in the back, arms, abdomen and legs, while burning calories and fat at the same time. Swimming also helps build lean muscle mass throughout the entire body because water provides natural resistance against every movement you make.
2. Swimming builds up bone mass.
The resistance of the water helps build muscle strength and endurance without straining your joints.
Swimming is a great way to build endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Just 30 minutes of swimming burns around 250 calories. Plus it tones muscles, improves flexibility and is easy on the joints.
Swimmers also have a low risk of osteoporosis because bone loss is slower in swimmers than non-swimmers due to their regular physical activity. Bone loss is more common among women than men, especially after menopause when estrogen levels decrease and bone mass decreases more rapidly over time.
3. Swimming helps you stay flexible.
Swimming can improve your flexibility and range of motion. The water’s buoyancy takes most of your body weight off your joints and muscles, allowing for greater freedom of movement. This effect can help decrease joint or muscle pain, throbbing and stiffness. Swimming is one of the few sports that exercises every major muscle group in your body.
4. Swimming can improve exercise-induced asthma.
A recent study showed that swimming helped improve lung function in people with asthma. The study examined 47 adults who had been diagnosed with asthma and were given three months of swimming training. The results showed that swimming improved exercise-induced asthma symptoms and lung function.
5. Swimming lowers stress and depression.
Swimming has also been shown to help improve mood and lower stress levels. A study found that swimmers had higher levels of endocannabinoids — the neurotransmitters known for producing the “runner’s high” — than runners did after a similar amount of exercise. Researchers theorized that this might be due to the fact that cold water stimulates endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.
Swimming also uses every muscle group in your body and is great exercise that can help tire you out at night so you sleep better through the night. Plus, the water can be very relaxing!
6. Salt-water swimming can be a beauty treatment for skin.
I observed a significant improvement in my skin after switching from pool swimming to open water exercises in the ocean.
Swimming in salt water on a daily basis helps the skin retain moisture and detoxify, promoting the creation of new cells. After a refreshing ocean swim, you’ll be astonished at how smooth and healthy your skin feels.
It also helps keep skin looking young and healthy, since it’s a weight-bearing exercise that keeps muscles firm and the cardio benefits improve blood circulation, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to skin cells.
7. Swimming can make you smarter.
A workout in the pool can boost your brain power: Research from Australia suggests that in addition to boosting fitness, swimming improves kids’ grades and increases their capacity for learning. In fact, when school officials added regular swimming to the curriculum, students’ scores rose by up to 34 percent.
Another study conducted by the University of South Carolina found that swimming can make you smarter. In this study, a group of adults who did not know how to swim were enrolled in an eight-week learn-to-swim program. After just eight weeks, the swimmers showed improvements in cognitive tests and working memory tasks. The researchers believe that these cognitive benefits may be due to the fact that swimming improves sleep quality and reduces stress.
8. Swimming may just lengthen your life.
Swimming may just lengthen your life. A study of 40,547 men, ages 20 to 90, found that those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers or men who got no exercise. The study results were reported in the May 15, 1998 issue of the “British Medical Journal.”
The same researchers then followed up with a similar study of women and found that the death rate for female swimmers was about one third lower than non-swimmers. Swimming may also be better for your back than walking. One study of people with chronic lower back pain found that those who did water aerobics had less pain than those who walked. Water workouts may also help improve balance and flexibility.
Swimming offers a wide range of health benefits such as reducing stress, improving heart health, increasing muscle strength and even minimizing joint pains.
Swimming is also a great exercise for people of all ages, but most especially for teenagers. Swimming can help teenagers develop their upper and lower body strength, cardiovascular endurance as well as flexibility. Their cardiovascular system will also improve because swimming increases one’s breathing capacity by increasing lung capacity. Spending longer periods of time in the water also allow others to build up their endurance, so they don’t tire as easily when practicing other exercises, and swimming can help those who are grappling with any type of depression get out of their own minds for a while.