Benefits Of Swimming – Best Resistance Exercise To Soothe Your Mind, Body And Soul!
As kids, we always yearned to jump into the swimming pool and have fun splashing water onto each other! Little did we know that this fun-filled activity could revamp our overall health including our social skills. Here are 10 best benefits of swimming that will urge you to enroll yourself in a swimming session right away!
Note – If you are suffering from psoriasis or any particular medical conditions that you feel may get aggravated, you need to consult your doctor to avoid further complications.
10 Surprising Benefits of Swimming for Physical and Mental Wellbeing!
Life becomes much more interesting when we indulge ourselves in certain recreational activities! Because recreational activities shape us into a better person and also help us explore the magic that lies in the particular art form that we have chosen.
Swimming, for example, can be a great stress buster, a greater stamina booster and the greatest weight loss regime one could consciously choose to make their lifestyle much interesting.
Not just this, there are many more surprising advantages of swimming most of us are unaware of. Here comes the big list!
1. Swim For Body Posture And Flexibility
Great flexibility comes with greater physical activity. Not having complete body flexibility can make you susceptible to sudden injuries since there wouldn’t be a complete joint functioning.
Also, good flexibility prevents back pain and helps you obtain relaxation! Being more flexible can help you work in peace, especially if yours is a desk job because a lack of physical activity is what makes you feel lazy and lethargic.
Experiments conducted on 24 middle-aged women who were asked to swim for 60 minutes, at least 3 times i a week for 12 weeks in comparison with the control group proved that the experimental group could develop much flexibility and also resistance to heart diseases.(1)
2. Benefits Of Swimming For Weight Loss
Swimming burns calories! The fact that more calories are being burned by your body than those being consumed is enough for you to know that you are undergoing a weight loss.
Restricting the number of calorie intake per day and spending some time in the pool to swim and to strengthen your muscles can help you reach your weight loss goals.
However, the number of calories that one can burn through swimming vary depending on three different factors- Body weight, time spent on swimming and the style of swimming.
A person weighing around 59 kilograms spending 60 minutes in swimming (freestyle technique) can burn 400-600 calories.
A person weighing around 70 kilograms spending 60 minutes in swimming (freestyle technique) can burn 500-700 calories.
However, studies and experiments conducted on swimming for weight loss and other physical activities like cycling and walking without any restrictions in diet have proven that the latter two have resulted in a subsequent weight loss.(2)
Considering the fact that swimming can burn calories,(3) you can choose to maintain a journal to record your daily calorie intake and spend enough time to burn your calories. Keeping a check on your calorie consumption and calories being spent helps you in a successful weight loss.
3. How Swimming Improves Your Muscular Strength?
Swimming is a type of resistance training. A resistance exercise or strength training is something that makes your muscles contract, thereby increasing your overall muscular strength and bone density which enhances your fitness.(4)
Swimming requires us to use our arms and legs to move against water with a greater force. Interestingly, there are various strokes (techniques) of swimming which help us to build different parts of our muscles.
Almost all of our muscles are worked upon while swimming which immensely benefits our overall muscular strength. Learning various strokes can tone your muscles and bring in that perfect body shape that you have been longing for.
You just have to ensure that you are committed to your swimming schedule and completely involve yourself in the process of transformation!
4. Cardiovascular Fitness – One Of The Prominent Health Benefits Of Swimming
Heart diseases are the topmost cause of deaths worldwide which definitely requires us to be more vigilant towards our heart health.
Unfortunately, the risk of coronary artery disease has been increasing among the people who are of middle age, particularly in the United States and some European countries. This is because of certain lifestyle changes such as obesity, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and certain dietary habits which cause an excessive building up of cholesterol in the blood.
Surprisingly, certain physical activities like athletic activities that we practice in school may not help us compensate with the problem but swimming which is practised consistently, all year round may reduce the chances of coronary artery disease.(5)
5. Swim To Relieve Yourself From Mental Stress And Overall Wellbeing!
Metabolic syndrome and Mental health!
Our health is defined by our Lifestyle habits whether it is physical or mental health! Most of the times, it is our unhealthy way of living that makes us susceptible to a condition known as metabolic syndrome.
Those suffering from metabolic syndrome experience a group of conditions all at once such as abnormal blood pressure, increase in the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, elevated blood sugar levels and obesity which altogether increases the risk of being prone to diabetes and heart disorders.
Lifestyle has also a huge impact on our mental health which can be improved by indulging ourselves in certain activities like jogging, aerobic exercises, swimming, dancing, gardening, cycling or walking.
Exercise to reduce distraction, improve efficacy and social interaction!
Also, exercise is known to show a definite impact on certain mental health symptoms such as distraction, social interaction, and efficacy since it increases the flow of blood to our brain.
6. Improves Your Stamina
Stamina is how well you can sustain your physical effort! Exercising is undoubtedly the best way to increase your physical stamina since it increases the supply of oxygen to your muscles and a lack of proper oxygen supply is what causes fatigue and weakness.
Swimming requires more stamina in the first place. But, once you get into the pool and start practising swimming on a regular basis, you can communicate with your trainer to know some best strokes that can improve your energy levels and stamina.
Choosing a diet filled with carbohydrates and keeping yourself hydrated all the time helps you retain your strength and prevent the chances of dehydration.
7. Benefits Of Swimming For Improving Lung Capacity
At some point in our lives, we may have experienced shortness of breath, most probably while performing exercise and it is quite natural for us to experience fatigue while exercising!
Interestingly, we can increase our breathing capacity through swimming which increases the efficacy of our lungs. We obtain energy when we breathe in oxygen through the lungs and this oxygen is pumped throughout our body to various muscles by our heart.
When we exercise, we require more amounts of oxygen which is why our breathing capacity has to be increased. A reduced lung function may not fetch you with required amounts of oxygen which result in shortness of breath. (8)
Studies have proved that swimmers had a superior lung capacity when compared to footballers and people belonging to other sports group. ( 9)
8. Does Swimming Help People Suffering From Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic disorders that can develop among the old and elderly. Our joints undergo a lot of wear and tear which makes them weak and injured as we age.
A diet that is not included with bone strengthening foods can increase your risk of osteoarthritis. Obesity, a malformation in the joints and a poor posture also some common causes of this joint disorder.
The bone disorder is characterized by the symptoms of Inflammation, pain, tenderness, and redness in the joints.
There are various home remedies that one can follow to soothe the symptoms and obtain a temporary relief but exercising brings in a significant change in the symptoms in people suffering from osteoarthritis.
Experiments conducted on older and middle-aged adults diagnosed with osteoarthritis proved that there was an improvement in muscle strength and reduction in the pain and inflammation due to swimming. (10)
9. Can Pregnant Women Swim?
Absolutely yes! There are some superficial advantages of swimming for pregnant women as well as the expected child.
Makes you feel weightless and reduces the back strain
The extra weight that is gathered due to pregnancy can exert extra burden on to your spine and shoulders. Swimming builds our muscular strength which reduces the strain, thereby making you feel much convenient and comfortable.
Pregnancy reduces the risk of premature birth
However, you have to be selective about the pool and its hygiene so as to reduce the risk of being prone to water-borne diseases.
Which stroke is best suited for pregnant women?
It is recommended by some experts to perform breaststroke as this can strengthen both your chest muscles and back muscles.
Butterfly stroke is something that has to be avoided since it puts in extra pressure on your spine which might aggravate the pain.
Freestyle technique of swimming is also considered beneficial if performed under proper guidance. (12)
10. Swimming Regulates Sleep Cycles
Before treating your sleep cycles, it is essential for you to know what has been disturbing your sleep pattern so that you fix the root cause before directly taking the action.
There are various medical conditions like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stress, lifestyle habits such as drinking alcohol, irregular sleeping patterns that can cause insomnia.
According to national health service, indulging yourself in a moderate form of exercises such as swimming or walking can relieve you from stress that has gathered throughout the day, provided you do not perform vigorous exercise. Doing so can make you stay awake throughout the night. (13)
Apart from performing physical activity, you may have to keep a regular sleeping routine, stay away from alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine and create a cosy ambience so as to have a peaceful sleep.
Advantages of swimming are numerous since it is peculiar and does not match other land-based exercises.
The only concern is whether you are checking with the quality and hygiene of the pool so that you are not prone to any kind of waterborne illness. You may have to consult the doctor if you are suffering from skin diseases or any serious medical illness.
Otherwise, health benefits of swimming are huge, like an improvement of body flexibility, regulation of sleep cycle, relief from osteoarthritis, increase in stamina, decrease in the risk of pregnancy-related disorders, increase in lung capacity and the most desired benefit which is relief from stress and mental peace.
What more? Swimming can also boost your confidence levels since you have learnt a new skill. A skill so unusual, it tones your muscles, improves your stamina and also saves you from mishaps.
Why wait? Enrol in a swimming session nearby and get ready to add an extra point into your skills basket!
Sai Sudha is a certified health blogger, who has an experience of above 2 years with an authorized certificate in the area of Introduction to food and health from Stanford University.
She has a special interest in life sciences, human psychology and fitness which drove her to make blogging turn passion to profession. Being an introvert, writer, empath and a nature lover, she loves Yoga and believes it to be one of the best pathways to self discovery! She loves travelling, exploring new places and wants to spread help through words. She finds happiness in little things which makes her live life to the fullest.