Swimming is a fun, inexpensive, and all-inclusive form of exercise which offers incredible health and mental benefits. Swimming provides a thorough full-body workout which helps a person stay in shape and uplifts a person’s mood and lowers stress levels. The average person should be doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. By including swimming into this recommended time, a person will reap multiple benefits which are listed below.
1. Fitness & Strength:
Swimming targets nearly every single major muscle group as it requires a person to use their arms, legs, stomach, and torso. This in turn improves a person’s strength, tones the muscles, enhances overall fitness, and burns calories which helps in managing a person’s weight. So much of swimming revolves around staying level and balanced in the water which enables swimmer to develop deep stabilizing muscles in one’s core and lower back. Water is also 800 times denser than air, so a swimmer’s muscles are therefore constantly under much higher resistance.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Strength:
Cardiovascular exercise is exercise which involves the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Swimming falls within this category. Swimming increases a person’s heart rate while putting minimal stress on the body. Studies have shown that swimming can help lower blood pressure, lengthen a person’s lifespan and improve a person’s aerobic capacity. As swimming is an aerobic and cardiovascular exercise it strengthens one’s heart and makes it more effective at pumping blood which leads to better blood flow throughout the body. Swimming is thus a great way to naturally and safely improve one’s cardiovascular health.
3. Improves Lung Capacity:
In addition to building cardiovascular strength, swimming also improves lung capacity and the ability for a person to control their breathing. Swimming increases the ability to take in and effectively use oxygen – which is great for improving endurance. As swimming has a strong focus on the use and control of breath it is a great way to improve and maintain the health of one’s lungs and expand their capacity. Healthy lungs can result in lower resting heart rates, lower blood pressure and improved endurance.
4. Aids Sleep:
Regular aerobic activity, such as swimming, is known to improve the quality of a person’s sleep. Getting enough exercise each week can significantly help people achieve better sleeping patterns and to feel more alert during the day. By partaking in regular swimming, the ability for good rest and to fall asleep quickly can be increased - which in turn can ensure balanced and improved energy levels and mood throughout the day.
5. Lowers Stress:
Exercise induces mood boosting endorphins which greatly aids in lowering stress levels. Being submerged in water also dulls the sensory information that is normally bombarded at one’s body. This dulling of sensory information brings with it an immense feeling of calm.
6. Low Impact and Easily Controlled:
The low impact of swimming enables a body to swim at higher intensities on a regular basis without causing any wear and tear. Water makes swimming an entirely low impact exercise and the pace and intensity at which it is done is easily controlled and adjusted. This makes swimming ideal for injury recovery, pregnant woman, the very young or the elderly. Some studies even show that swimming is better than skipping exercise all together for helping the body to recuperate and fully rest.
7. Stay Flexible:
Swimming requires stretching, reaching, twisting and pulling as your body moves through the water. The repetitive stretching required for swimming strokes keeps the body supple and flexible. This in turn generates a relaxation response, as similarly achieved through yoga. The range of motion used throughout swimming helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible which is all aided by the water.
8. Boosts Mood:
Swimming is deeply relaxing as it allows increased oxygen to flow to the body’s muscles and forces regulated breathing. The contact with cool water reduces tiredness and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins which naturally improves a person’s mood, so swimming could be a great way to feel more uplifted and rejuvenated.
With all these benefits in mind, it is easy to see why swimming is such a popular form of exercise and it is one which you can follow for a lifetime. Swimming is a great way to improve your overall health and happiness naturally. It is great for both physical and mental health while at the same time being great fun and a highly social form of activity.