Swimming offers many benefits that most other aerobic exercises do not. As a former triathlete, I noticed my body changing the most BECAUSE of the swimming. Running and biking were pretty regular workouts for me, but when I added swimming into the equation, I was feeling better than ever. My joints felt more mobile, I gained flexibility, and I had more energy.
Here are 10 benefits of swimming:
1. The Ability To Do More With Less– Running puts a lot of impact on your joints and bones, but when you are submerged in water, you are only bearing about 10-25% of your weight. The pool is great for rehabilitation or even just stiff muscles and sore joints. Swimming stretches your muscles, strengthens your muscles, AND provides an aerobic workout!
2. Increased Muscle Tone & Strength– Swimming is an aerobic and RESISTANCE training exercise, meaning that every kick and stroke is against the water which is thick and dense from the amount of water in the pools. You are working every single muscle in your body when you swim. There is no doubt that the first time you do a swimming exercise routing that you will be super sore and will need some rest. Have you every seen a weak competitive swimmer? I don’t think so.
3. Improved Flexibility– Your body is lengthened throughout swimming laps. Your arms move in wide ranges, your hips, neck, and spine twist with every stroke. That is why swimming is so good for stiff muscles and joints. If you ever have a hard leg workout and your too sore to do anything the next day, try swimming out the soreness. You’ll be surprised at how much of the soreness is gone after a good number of laps.
4. A Healthier Heart– 30 minutes of regular swimming throughout the week can reduce coronary heart disease in women up to 30-40%. This is because, just like any aerobic exercise, you heart is working to pump more blood throughout your body during the workout. When you regularly perform aerobic exercise such as swimming, your body will have better blood circulation and a healthier heart muscle.
5. Weight Control– Swimming is one of the greatest calorie burners known today. To maximize your calorie expenditure, try doing interval workouts! For example: 50 yards swim, 50 yard kick, 10 sec rest, 100 yard swim, 50 yard kick, 10 sec rest, 200 yard swim, 50 yard kick, 10 sec rest, up until 300 yards or more! Also, to have a good idea of how many calories your burning, 10 minutes of freestyle burns 100 calories and 10 minutes of butterfly stroke burns 150! Imagine how much you can burn in just 1 hour of swimming!
6. Improves Asthma Symptoms– Swimming helps work out moist air which helps reduce exercise-induced asthma. Swimming can help you avoid prone asthma attacks and even improve the condition overall!
7. Improved Cholesterol– You want your LDL and HDL to have a healthy ratio and swimming will naturally raise your HDL which is the good cholesterol that your body needs.
8. Lower Risk of Diabetes– This type of aerobic exercise can actually increase your insulin sensitivity, which means that it helps prevent diabetes AND helps people that ALREADY HAVE DIABETES!
9. Lowers Stress & Increases Brain Power– Swimming releases endorphins which provides a natural high and relaxation. It gives a yoga effect. The constant stretching and relaxing of your muscles with the deep rhythmic breathing, calms the body like meditation. You become one with yourself with no distractions because the water drowns out every sound and thought.
10. Life Longevity– The healthier your hear is, the stronger your bones, muscles and joints are, the less amount of stress you have, the healthier your lungs are, THE LONGER YOU LIVE!