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7 Reasons Swimming is Good For Your Body
The sun is out, and that means the pool is now open! Swimming is a fun summer activity that can help you stay fit and cool off on a hot day.
You might be surprised to find that there are many health benefits from enjoying a few hours at the pool. Here are 7 reasons why swimming is good for you.
Swimming is a full-body workout
One unique benefit of swimming is that it is a way for you to work out your entire body.
Other physical activities focus on strengthening certain muscles. Swimming is unique because you exercise everything, from your arms to your legs.
Many different swimming exercises utilize your entire body in the water, allowing you to get a full workout.
Some engaging and fun swimming exercises include:
- Breath stroke. The breath stroke is a great cardiovascular exercise that allows you to strengthen your heart and lungs. The breath stroke is designed to help tone your entire body, working out your thighs, upper back, hamstrings, and lower legs.1
- Freestyle. Freestyle swimming, also known as the front crawl, involves using your arms and legs to pull you through the water. When you freestyle swim, you pull your face into the water and use your body to swim through the waves. Freestyle swimming is a great way to exercise your arms, legs, and lungs.
- Tombstone kick. This exercise involves holding a kickboard halfway in the water and pushing off the wall into the pool. You swim as fast as you can to the other side. This exercise is great for strengthening your back and working out your abs, arms, and legs.
Swimming is low-impact
Another way swimming helps your body is that water has relatively low impact on your muscles.
Because your body is submerged in the water, swimming is easier on your joints than other exercises. Exercising in the water can help you gradually reduce pain and recover over time if you have an injury or medical condition.
This makes swimming an accessible activity for someone with arthritis or other joint conditions. There are also a variety of water exercises to help someone strengthen their muscles without overexerting themselves.
Swimming Can Help You Burn Calories
Did you know that a 160-pound person can burn roughly 420-700 calories in an hour of swimming?2
That means with the right combination of water exercises, swimming can be an effective way to burn more calories in the same amount of time. Finding the right combination of exercises is one way how swimming helps your body stay in shape.
However, another reason why swimming is good for you is that you can lose calories even without rigorous water workouts. A 150-pound person that swims leisurely in the pool will burn about 408 calories.5
If you are looking for an activity that is fun and can help you maintain weight, try incorporating swimming into your daily routine.
Swimming can Improve Sleep
Another way how swimming helps your body is it can help you improve your sleep. In a 12-week study of individuals with sleep apnea, the researchers found the individuals who participated in aerobic exercises and resistance training reduced the severity of symptoms by 25%.7
There have been numerous studies that link sufficient exercise leads to improved sleep quality. One reason exercising can help you sleep better is it increases your body temperature, and when it drops after a workout, it signals to your body that it is time to sleep.8
Enjoying a few hours at the pool every few days can improve the quality of your sleep over time.
Your Lungs Can Improve
When you swim, you hold your breath whenever you go underneath the water. Over time, your lungs learn to expand, which can help strengthen your cardiovascular system.
One reason your lungs may improve after swimming is as you exercise, your heart rate increases, which in turn tells your body that you need oxygen.10
Swimming causes you to take deep breaths to replenish the oxygen your body needs. Your body will gradually improve its use of oxygen as your lungs strengthen from the aquatic workouts over time.
Increasing your lung capacity is another way how swimming helps your body. Try swimming to improve the way you breathe over time!
Swimming Can Help You Age Better
Everyone naturally ages, but did you know that swimming can help you age better? While swimming won’t be able to naturally stop the aging process, there is a strong correlation between swimming and maintaining a healthy body.
A study from Indiana University Bloomington’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming found that individuals aged 35 who swam 3,200 to 4,500 meters a week postponed the aging process by decades. The researchers studied different metrics such as blood pressure, muscle mass, pulmonary function, and blood chemistry, concluding that these metrics may be impacted by a decline in activity as we age.11
Swimming 3-5 times a week can help you get a great workout and keep your body healthy for years to come. After all, keeping your body active can help you stay healthy in the future.
Swimming Can Relieve Stress
Have you ever gone to the pool just to float in the water and relax? Mental health is essential, and another reason why swimming is good for you is it can help relieve stress.
Being active and getting moving can improve your overall mood. One reason for this is that swimming releases endorphins that cause your muscles to relax.
Furthermore, another way how swimming helps your body relieve stress is it is a feel-good exercise. According to a poll conducted by research specialists at Ipsos MORI, 70% of the people surveyed said that swimming had a positive effect on their mental health.12
When you swim, you have to focus your mind on staying afloat and coordinating your body. This is a great way to get your mind off of life’s distractions while exercising for a few hours.
Add swimming to your routine to improve your mood and reduce your anxiety.
Get Outside and Swim Today!
Now that you know why swimming is good for you, get outside and spend a few hours at the pool every few days. You’ll not only be healthier after adding swimming into your routine, but it is also a fun exercise you can enjoy all summer long.
To learn more about Saber Healthcare, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “The best swimming stroke for weight loss.” Swimming.org, swimming.org. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.swimming.org/justswim/best-swimming-stroke-for-weight-loss/#:~:text=Breaststroke%20is%20a%20much%20better,and%20tone%20the%20chest%20muscles.
- “Swimming for Low Impact Exercise.” Colorado Pain Care, coloradopaincare.com. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://coloradopaincare.com/swimming-for-low-impact-exercise/
- “Calorie Burn Rate Calculator.” University of Rochester Medical Center, Health Encyclopedia. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=41&ContentID=CalorieBurnCalc&CalorieBurnCalc_Parameters=160
- Del Turco, Lauren. “How Many Calories Do You Burn Lifting Weights?” Meredith Corporation, Shape. Published September 5th, 2019. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/calories-burned-lifting-weights
- “The Burn: How Many Calories Do You Burn Swimming?” British Swim School, britishswimschool.com. May 9th, 2018. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://britishswimschool.com/seattle/the-burn-how-many-calories-do-you-burn-swimming/
- “The State of Sleep Health in America.” America Sleep Apnea Association, sleephealth.org. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/#:~:text=In%20America%2C%2070%25%20of%20adults,report%20insufficient%20sleep%20every%20night.&text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%20sleep,all%20ages%20and%20socioeconomic%20classes.
- Adler, Laura. “How Exercise Affects Sleep.” Onecare Media, Sleep.org. Last Updated March 24th, 2021. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.sleep.org/exercise-affects-sleep/
- Pacheco, Danielle. Iyo, Jenny, ed. “Exercise and Insomnia.” Onecare Media, Sleep Foundation. Last Updated December 11th, 2020. Accessed April 30th, 2021. Link: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/exercise-and-insomnia
- Lazovicm-Popovic, et. all. “Superior lung capacity in swimmers: Some questions, more answers!” Sociedade Portuguesa de Pneumologi, sciencedirect.com. Published May-June 2016. Accessed April 30th, 2021. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2173511515001979
- Howley, Elaine K. “5 Reasons Why Swimming is Great for Lung Health.” U.S. Masters of Swimming, USMS.org. Published January 6th, 2021. Accessed April 30th, 2021. Link: https://www.usms.org/fitness-and-training/articles-and-videos/articles/5-reasons-why-swimming-is-great-for-lung-health
- Johnston, Jeanne. “Swimming in the fountain of youth.” The Trustees of Indiana University, IU Newsroom. Accessed April 30th, 2021. Link: https://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/4030.html
- “Swimming Helps Reduce Stress Says Speedo Survey.” Cision, PR Newswire. July 31st, 2012. Accessed April 29th, 2021. Link: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/swimming-helps-reduce-stress-says-speedo-survey-164401686.html