25 Health Benefits of Swimming
A Whole Body Workout
Between the breaststroke, butterfly, and backstroke, a swimmer activates everything from their biceps and triceps to their gluteals and hamstrings. Regular aquatic sessions are also a great way to tone and strengthen the core. What's more, it's an especially wonderful form of aerobic exercise for obese or injured people, who would much prefer workouts that aren't weight bearing.
Enables Weight Loss
Swimming burns a moderate amount of calories, while daily sprints reduce fat and boost weight loss. Water is also hundreds of times denser than air, making swimming an incredibly accessible resistance workout. Resistance workouts jump-start muscle growth, which results in the body depleting its stored energy even as a person rests.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Swimming has an astounding impact on both your heart and lungs. When performed regularly, it can reduce elevated blood lipids, lower blood pressure, stave off diabetes, and drastically decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. It's also a great way to increase your heart rate without putting direct stress on your extremities.
A Low-impact Workout
While regular physical fitness is imperative to leading a healthy life, injuries, disabilities, and other conditions, such as arthritis, can greatly limit a person's options. In fact, even subjects
with rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated an increase in aerobic capacity after committing to a daily swimming habit.
The effects of regular exercise are well known to boost the body as well as the mind. What's more, water is known for its healing capability. A recent study
demonstrated that women who participate in water-based exercise are more likely to see improvements in their balance and quality of life.
Improves Mental Clarity
There's plenty of science
behind the fact that exercise improves memory and learning. Did you know swimming is responsible for actually changing the structure of your brain? Swimming helps circulate rejuvenating oxygen to the brain and can actually increase the growth of brain cells.
Unlike running or cardio, swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for individuals recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic pain. A new study
demonstrates that aerobic exercise even increases pain tolerance in healthy individuals.
Daily laps will boost your energy and fight fatigue. While scientists aren't quite sure what causes this phenomenon, you might want to ditch that coffee and head straight to the pool next time you need a jolt.
Each stroke requires you to stretch out your body and lengthen your muscles. More time in the pool translates to more elasticity.
Swimming helps you release endorphins, which can alleviate stress. People who exercise regularly have lower rates of depression and mood disorders. People also say that swimming makes them feel good about their body and has a positive mental impact on them.
Better Sexual Stamina
Swimming helps you increase your muscle mass, flexibility, and endurance. It also promotes a better body image and self-confidence. Some studies show that submerging the body in cold outdoor water increases the production of sex hormones. A boost in libido and healthier, more toned body are the perfect combination for a better sex life.
Reduces the Effects of Asthma
Studies show that working out in a humid environment is more beneficial than land-based activities for individuals suffering from asthma. It helps keep the airway clear and reduces the risk of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
According to a recent study
published in Oncotarget, swimming reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. Regular participation in aquatic sports can be more effective and have fewer side effects than traditional therapies. According to a recent study by the University of California, this happens because exercise activates a sympathetic nervous system, which prepares your body for both mental and physical activity.
Decreases Bone Vulnerability
Osteoporosis affects millions of individuals every year. Swimming is not a weight-bearing activity and doesn't put excess stress on already weakened and susceptible bones. You literally spent your entire time floating around, performing a gravity-defying stunt that doesn't wreak havoc on your joints.
Agility is the speed and accuracy with which you go from one movement to another. The need for buoyancy pushes your body even further. As such, a swimming habit is an excellent addition to a cross-training regimen. What's more, your body is forced to regulate its oxygen intake for more stable, fluid movements.
There are several studies
that show an increase in physical activity reduces the risk of cancer. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. If you already have cancer regular exercise can slow the growth. It is also proven to ward off or delay a reoccurrence.
Decrease the Effects of Aging
According to a recent study by the University of South Carolina, swimmers have a 50 percent lower rate of dying than nonswimmers. However, chlorine can strip the hair and skin of natural oils. Opt for freshwater or ocean swimming whenever possible. Swimming, as with most aerobic exercises, reduces many age-related ailments, including loss of muscle mass and heart failure.
A solid swimming technique and stroke variety can help you build a strong core. It also helps to elongate the spine and realign the pelvis. This can reduce chronic neck and back pain. In particular, the backstroke and breaststroke have a reduced risk of hypertension.
Hydrotherapy is popular for its soothing, stress-relieving qualities. Combine that with regular physical fitness and you're sure to improve your mind, body, and soul.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Harvard Medical School tells
individuals to "take the plunge" for their hearts. Their goal is to shine a light on swimming, which is often cast aside for running. It decreases a persons resting heart rate. It also reduces cholesterol levels.
Builds Muscle Strength
Swimming is a low-impact resistance workout that does wonders for a wide range of muscles. The telltale signs of a competitive swimmer's body are a lean, muscular core and a chiseled upper back. Each time you push yourself to go a little faster or a little longer, your body will recover by developing more muscle mass.
Swimming affects the brain's neurotransmitters. In turn, your daily laps may translate to cognitive clarity, mental stamina, and stable moods. It can even endure the memory damage caused by stress and inactivity. Likewise, it is a good preventative measure for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Heals Skin and Wounds
This health benefit applies exclusively to salt-water swimming. The salt in oceans or salt-treated pools can kill harmful bacteria, remove dead skin cells, and cleanse pores. Salt-water is also naturally enriched with skin-benefiting minerals, including calcium and potassium.
It is important for individuals with arthritis to exercise regularly, but high-impact training can be overwhelming. The Arthritis Foundation
recommends lap swimming as a refreshing and zero-impact exercise that is suitable for individuals with this disease.
Exercise is well known for improving a person's quality and quantity of sleep. Those laps will have you falling asleep quicker and waking up less. According to the National Sleep Foundation
, it only takes four to 24 weeks to see noticeable improvements in chronic insomnia.