The benefits of swimming:
- Works your whole body
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it truly works your entire body, head to toe.
- increases your heart rate without stressing your body
- tones muscles
- builds strength
- builds endurance
- There are various strokes you can use to add variety to your swimming workout, including:
- Works your insides, too
While your muscles are getting a good workout, your cardiovascular system is, too. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong. Swimming is so good for you that researchers share it may even reduce your risk of death. Compared with inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death. Some other studies have shown that swimming may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.
- It’s appropriate for people with injuries, arthritis, and other conditions
Swimming can be a safe exercise option for people with:
- other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult
Swimming may even help reduce some of your pain or improve your recovery from an injury. One study showed that people with osteoarthritis reported significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness, and experienced less physical limitation after engaging in activities like swimming.
- Good option for people with asthma
The humid environment of indoor pools makes swimming a great activity for people with asthma. Not only that, but breathing exercises associated with the sport, like holding your breath, may help you expand your lung capacity and gain control over your breathing..
- Torches calories
Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories. A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous pace.
To compare these numbers to other popular low-impact activities, that same 160-pound person would only burn around 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for 60 minutes. Yoga might burn just 183 calories per hour. And the elliptical trainer might burn just 365 calories in that hour.
- Improves your sleep
Swimming may have the power to help you sleep better at night. In a study on older adults with insomnia, participants reported both a boost in quality of life and sleep after engaging in regular aerobic exercise.
Swimming is accessible to a wide range of people who deal with physical issues that make other exercises, like running, less appealing. That can make swimming a good choice for older adults looking to improve their sleep.
- Helps manage stress
Researchers surveyed a group of swimmers immediately before and after swimming at a YMCA in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Of the 101 people surveyed, 44 reported being mildly depressed and feeling stress related to fast-paced life. After swimming, the number of people who still reported feeling stressed decreased to just eight.
While more research needs to be done in this area, the researchers conclude that swimming is a potentially powerful way to relieve stressquickly.
- Safe during pregnancy
Pregnant women and their babies can also reap some wonderful rewards from swimming. In one study in animals, a mother rat’s swimming was shown to alter the brain development in her offspring. Aside from potential benefits to the child, swimming is an activity that can be performed in all three trimesters.
Another study shows no adverse effects of swimming in chlorinated pools while pregnant. In fact, pregnant women who swam during their early to mid-pregnancy had a lower risk of preterm labor and congenital defects.
- Great for kids, too
Kids need a minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. It doesn’t need to feel like a chore either. Swimming is a fun activity and doesn’t necessarily feel like formal working out.
Your child can do either structured swimming lessons or be part of a swim team. Unstructured swim time is another solid option to get kids moving.