Swimming is good for you.
Sometimes, when I’m just a little tired from a day’s work, I swim. It helps me clear my mind, and it’s also a great full body workout, minus the impact on your joints.
Here’s 10 reasons why swimming is good for you.
1. It can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
2. Swimming is a lifelong skill that could save a life. Imagine if you were thrown in the ocean for some reason – you would need to know how to tread water, and how to keep yourself afloat. If you can’t swim, it’s never too late to learn!
3. Swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone especially compared to other aerobic exercises.
4. Better even than running – when a runner takes few laps around the track, that runner is only moving his or her body through air. A swimmer, on the other hand, is propelling himself through water, a substance about twelve times as dense as air. That means that every kick and every arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise, and it’s well-known that resistance exercises are the best way to build muscle tone and strength.
5. Swimming strengthens the lungs. When I was young, I was initially a sickly child, and I nearly caught pneumonia. All that changed when my father taught me to swim (at 4 years old!), and then I hardly fell sick again – it really improved my Vo2 max as well as my capacity to circulate oxygen – how often have you heard someone gasping for breath or just practicing shallow breathing out of bad habit. To learn to take deep breaths and utilise your lungs to its greatest capacity is a real skill – swimming can help. It also can strengthen your lungs when you hold your breath underwater and practice this for a long period of time. You will feel yourself getting stronger and better at this with time and practice.
6. Swimming has also been shown to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women (Huang, et al.)
7. If you have diabetes, an aerobic activity like swimming can help in the management plan. Swimming burns calories, helps you lose weight, and keeps your blood sugars under control. If you have high cholesterol, you will also benefit from swimming. It will help you lower your bad LDL cholesterol and raise your good HDL cholesterol.
8. Unlike exercise machines in a gym that tend to isolate one body part at a time, swimming puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. With every stroke, as you reach forward, you’re lengthening the body, which not only makes it more efficient in the water, it also helps give you a good stretch from head to toe.
9. Swimming is a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise – it alleviates stress, improves coordination, balance and posture.
10. Swimming improves flexibility, provides good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions and provides a pleasant way to cool down on a hot day.