10 Best Benefits Of Swimming
- Swimming is a full-body yet low-impact activity that is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels.
- The health benefits of swimming for seniors and young ones range from cardiovascular fitness and muscle toning to reduced stress and improved quality of sleep and mood.
- Studies also show multiple benefits of swimming during pregnancy or for people with asthma or chronic joint pain.
Whether it is in the summer, winter, or monsoons, who doesn’t love spending time at the pool or in open waters to cool down and have a refreshing swim? This versatile activity is truly fit for all and can be picked up by anyone at any age!
But the icing on the cake is that indulging in a few hours of swimming every day can also boost your overall health from head to toe - literally! It is one of the most popular fitness activities as it gives your daily dose of aerobic exercises without exposing you to muscle or joint pain.
So, grab your swimwear and goggles, and let's explore the many benefits of swimming for kids, adults, and seniors!
Physical and mental benefits of swimming
1. Safe for all
We said it before, and we’ll say it again - swimming is one of the safest fitness activities that any person can take up.
It is perfect for those with arthritis, injuries, disabilities, or any other health issues due to which they cannot take up strenuous physical activities. Studies have shown that swimming can help alleviate pain and help quicken the body’s recovery process from any injury.
The benefits of swimming for seniors are also widely researched. It helps them enhance their physical strength, provides relief to joint aches and inflammation, and also promotes flexibility.
2. Better cardiovascular performance
There is no doubt that swimming puts your heart, lungs, and circulatory system to work, while still being a low-impact activity! This helps increase your cardio fitness while also enhancing your lung capacity as you have to adjust your breathing patterns.
The endurance built by the cardiovascular system through swimming also helps the body in lowering blood pressure, as various studies show. It was even found that swimmers had nearly 50% lesser risk of mortality as compared to those with inactive lifestyles.
3. Targets your entire body
Apart from working wonders on your internal organs, swimming also tones the muscles in your hands and legs and improves endurance as well as agility.
In fact, one of the benefits of swimming breaststroke, butterfly stroke, or even freestyle, is that it engages your upper body, lower body, and core muscles. When you swim, your hands are pulling against the water to push you forward, your core helps you stay straight and afloat while your legs are constantly kicking.
4. Helps burn more calories
Despite being a low-impact activity, swimming successfully burns more calories than jogging or walking. As most of your muscles are involved in swimming, it’s no surprise that your metabolism increases, prompting your body to use more energy (through calories) to complete the workout. With the right stroke and intensity, swimming can even help you burn more fat than running!
If you want to add swimming to your weight loss regime, you can use online calculators to check how long you must swim to burn a specific number of calories.
5. Perfect exercise during pregnancy
Issues like back pain, joint pain, and muscle pain are commonly experienced during pregnancy owing to body changes and added weight.
One of the benefits of swimming during pregnancy is that the buoyancy of the water can make your pregnancy belly feel weightless and reduce strain on joints and muscles.
Pregnant women can safely swim during all three trimesters and don’t worry, the chlorine water does not negatively impact the mother or child. However, it is vital to consult your doctor before trying any type of fitness activity, especially if there are some complications in the pregnancy.
6. Proven mood-booster
Exercises, like swimming, help release the feel-good chemicals in our body, like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. This can prove to be an instant mood booster and a much-needed rejuvenation, even for people with dementia.
Other psychological or mental benefits of swimming include a reduction in stress and anxiety. Swimming can have effects that are similar to meditation. It allows the swimmer to tune out all other distractions, as being underwater cuts down on external noise and sights. It also promotes mindfulness where the swimmer is focused on the present and on just breathing and wading through the waters.
7. Dive into better sleep
One of the most commonly known benefits of working out is improved sleep, even if you exercise for just 30 minutes a day.
The same holds true for swimming. As it is a full-body workout, your muscles and overall body is working hard during this activity. This encourages the body to get sound sleep in order to help the muscles recover, and over time also regulates better sleep patterns.
As mentioned before, swimming also helps bring down stress levels, which is one of the most prominent markers of disturbed sleep. Even a daily swim can help you feel more relaxed, thereby helping you unwind easily at night.
8. Better flexibility of joints
Being a full-body aerobic exercise, swimming requires you to use all your muscles to stretch, reach forward, and twist during strokes. This improves your mobility and increases flexibility in your joints and limbs, which is great for other exercises and activities as it reduces strain on stiff joints.
So, whether you choose to reap the benefits of swimming in the morning or evening, a daily swim can improve your range of motion in the long run.
9. Ideal for people with asthma
If you have asthma, going to the gym can be challenging as you will have to catch your breath every few seconds. The good news is that you can simply switch to swimming.
Asthma, especially sports-induced asthma, generally occurs when there is a loss of heat and moisture in the bronchial tube walls, causing it to constrict. Swimming allows you to breathe in warm, moist air, making it easier for people with asthma.
Moreover, regular swimming can also strengthen your lung capacity and breathing capacity, which is beneficial for asthma sufferers.
10. Swim for better skin
Swimming in the sea is beneficial to the skin as the salt content acts to exfoliate the skin, remove toxins, and open up the pores. This also retains moisture in your body while allowing the growth of new cells, making it some of the best swimming benefits for the skin.
Certain sources also claim that the chlorine in pools has an antibacterial effect on acne-prone skin. However, this effect or benefit is not fully supported, so it is best to consult your doctor before taking up swimming, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Swimming is a remarkable force that goes beyond a simple workout. For amateur, regular, or professional swimmers, the transformative effects of swimming before and after cannot be understated. This refreshing workout offers numerous benefits for the body, mind, and soul and leaves a positive impact on your life!
Physically, it builds strength, endurance, and flexibility, sculpting a graceful and powerful physique. Mentally, it offers tranquility, reducing stress and inspiring creativity. Spiritually, it rejuvenates our souls, cleansing and connecting us to our true selves. Swimming is not just a pastime; it is a catalyst for personal growth and a gateway to a vibrant, purposeful life. Embrace the transformative power of swimming and unlock your full potential in the depths of its waters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although a low-impact activity, swimming provides a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups, improves cardiovascular fitness, increases mental well-being, enhances muscle strength and agility, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
As swimming is a physical exercise, it helps the body release endorphins and dopamine to boost your mood and reduce anxiety. The calming effect of the water and deep breathing techniques also aid in stress reduction.
Yes, swimming helps in weight management as even an hour of this activity can burn a high number of calories. As it engages all the muscles and is a cardiovascular exercise, the body expends more energy, thus increasing metabolism and burning more calories.
Swimming benefits cardiovascular and heart health by improving circulation and building endurance in lung capacity. Research also proves that regular swimming can also lower blood pressure, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease.
The act of swimming requires you to stretch and propel forward against the resistance of the water, which increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles. The buoyancy of the water also reduces the impact on the joints, which facilitates gentle stretches and better joint mobility.
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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Sep, 05 2023
Fact checked By
Jillian Lai Mei Siew