Swimming is the activity of moving oneself through water using one’s arms and legs while buoyed up by the water. The benefits of swimming are so numerous. Although we swim for amusement, exercise, sport, or entertainment, it is an activity that burns lots of calories. It supports your weight, easy on your joints, and builds muscle strength and endurance. It also improves cardiovascular fitness and refreshes you on hot summer days, and it is one you can safely do into old age.
Swimming is a perfect exercise because it is an excellent workout in which you move your whole body against water resistance. After all, you can get all the benefits of aerobic exercise without any damaging impact on your joints, and it can be done by people of all ages. Just an hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running without harming your bone or joint. Aside from just you and the deep blue, there are also tons of equipment you can use. Some of these equipment include swim goggles, jackets and many other swimming gadgets.
It provides a whole-body workout
One of the most significant benefits you get from swimming is that it truly works your entire body. It engages almost every major muscle group because your arms, legs, torso, and stomach will be involved. As a result, swimming builds endurance, builds strength and tones muscles, increases heart rate without stressing your body. In addition, there are various stroke varieties such as breaststroke, sidestroke, butterfly, backstroke, etc., that you can add to your swimming workout.
Muscle definition and strength
When you swim, you gain muscle strength throughout the entire body. As runners build muscle in their legs, swimmers utilize more muscle groups to move through the water. While the leg kicks, the arms pull, making swimming one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body workout.
Swimming burns calories and will help you manage your weight, tone your muscles, and improve your overall health and fitness. Swimming burns lots of calories, anywhere from 500-600 per hour, depending on how efficiently you swim. However, you burn more flopping around than swimming clearly. The calories you burn depends on your weight and swimming intensity.
Regulates blood sugar
Although limiting your sugar intake is the best way to balance your blood sugar, swimming can also help. A 2016 study found that high-intensity swimming thrice weekly increased insulin sensitivity and balanced blood glucose. This can help lower your risk of diabetes, and if you have diabetes, swimming can help keep your blood sugar in check.
Swimming reduces inflammation
While swimming’s cardiovascular benefits of strengthening the bone muscle are common knowledge, research also indicates aerobic activity such as swimming, running, etc., reduces inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis build-up in the heart. Also, reducing the system-wide inflammation leads to lessened disease progression in many other areas of the body.
Lowers stress and depression
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Keep in mind that any form of exercise can help reduce stress, but water-like activities provide additional soothing effects. It is hard to be stressed when you are floating on water. Swimming is also calming and meditative, and the sound of your breathing and water rushing by helps you flow inward and drop all other distractions. This lowers stress and depression naturally.
It helps with Asthma
In addition to building cardiovascular strength, swimming can help increase lung capacity and improve breathing control. Nothing is as frustrating as trying to exercise and being unable to get back your breath. Unlike working out in dry gym air, swimming helps you to breathe moist air while you train. Besides helping alleviate asthma symptoms, studies have shown that it can actually improve the overall condition of the lungs.
Beneficial for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition involving your central nervous system (CNS). MS causes inflammation and temporary lesions, making it hard for the brain to send signals to the rest of your body. People with MS can also find swimming beneficial. Water makes the body buoyant, helping to support the body during exercise as it provides gentle resistance.
It is good for people with injuries/ disabilities
A person with an injury or disability condition such as arthritis or paraplegia may find it challenging to do high-impact exercise. People who cannot participate in a high-impact activity like running may prefer swimming because the water gently supports the muscles.
Improves your sleep
Working out can tire your body so you can get a good night’s rest. Swimming may have the power to help you sleep better at night. A study found that adults over age 50 with insomnia experience improved sleep IQ quality after aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking, jogging, etc. This can make swimming a good choice for older adults looking to improve their sleep.