Top 10 Benefits of Swimming for Your Body and Health
Are you struggling to meet the recommended amount of exercise week? Or do you need more variation in your workout routine? If so, swimming is an excellent, fun, full-body workout worth considering.
Here, we’ll look at 10 health benefits of swimming and how to include swimming in your workout routine.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Swimming
1. Swimming Is an Excellent Low-impact Form of Cardio
Do you love running but hate the impact on your knees and joints? Good news. An hour of swimming burns almost the same amount of calories as running, but without all the jarring on your bones and joints.
While running and other high-intensity, high-impact workouts can aggravate aching joints, swimming naturally reduces stresses and impacts on the body. Since water provides some natural support and helps hold you up, it is an amazing way to relieve achy bones and joints while still giving your body a full-body workout.
2. Swimming Works the Entire Body
Swimming is a true full-body workout. Water provides a natural yet gentle resistance that is effective at strengthening and toning muscles.
Participating in swimming workouts regularly can:
- Increase your heart rate without stressing your body or joints
- Tone and target all the muscles in your body
- Build strength
- Build endurance
- Strengthen the cardiovascular system
Using various strokes is an excellent way to ensure you are targeting all the muscle groups in your body. During your swimming workout, consider alternating between varying strokes such as:
3. Swimming Provides Emotional Benefits
Along with excellent physical benefits, the emotional benefits of swimming are also impressive. Swimming is an amazing way to tune out of the normal world, focus on the present moment, avoid digital distractions, and clear your mind.
Focusing on your form while swimming laps can almost serve as a form of meditation. Swimming also increases the heart rate and can lead to the release of endorphins, feel-good hormones that help support a healthy mood and outlook.
For additional benefits, find a safe lake, pool, or pond to swim in outdoors. Then you can also reap the benefits of working out in nature.
4. Swimming Burns Mega Calories
Swimming may be relaxing on the joints and mind, but don’t let its meditative effect fool you — swimming laps can torch calories. At a low or moderate pace, a 160-pound individual can burn over 400 calories an hour while swimming laps (or over 700 calories at a more intense pace).
These numbers are especially impressive when compared to other low-impact exercises. For instance, the same individual would burn a little over 350 calories per hour on an elliptical, under 200 calories an hour doing yoga, or a bit over 300 calories walking 3.5 miles in an hour.
5. Swimming Can Improve Sleep Quality
Along with being gentle on the body, healing for the mind, and great at burning calories, swimming may also have the ability to help you enjoy a better night’s rest.
Studies have demonstrated that individuals with chronic insomnia fell asleep sooner and slept longer when they participated in regular exercise. Getting consistent, quality sleep offers important health benefits. So get those laps in and start enjoying an overall improvement in your sleep and quality of life.
6. Swimming Can Boost Your Mood
As with other types of exercise, swimming can provide substantial benefits for boosting your mood. By releasing feel-good hormones, swimming can help increase your overall sense of happiness and well-being.
Swimming also helps increase blood flow to the brain, helping to keep your brain healthy and better protected against harmful toxins.
7. Swimming Can Help Manage Stress
Along with helping to boost your mood, swimming can also help you healthily manage stress. When you participate in physical activity, your body reduces stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and increases feel-good hormones (endorphins).
8. Swimming Is Affordable and Convenient
Another benefit of swimming is that it is affordable and convenient, especially compared to other exercise options. Many pools offer reasonable rates or even certain time frames where you can swim for free.
Whether you want to swim laps on your own or join an exercise group or take lessons, there are a variety of ways to incorporate swimming into your fitness routine.
9. Swimming Can Be a Safe Exercise Option for Individuals With Limited Mobility
Because of its gentle, low-impact nature, swimming can be a safe, effective workout for individuals with physical limitations or injuries.
Swimming may even help reduce pain during recovery and speed up the recovery process from an injury. The water provides natural support and resistance to work the entire body in an effective yet gentle way.
As always, check with your medical provider before exercising with an injury or physical impairment.
10. Swimming Is for Everyone
Swimming is extremely versatile, great for all ages, and excellent for all activity levels. Whether you are completely new to exercise or already in great shape, swimming can complement your current exercise regime.
It is also an exercise you can likely continue for a lifetime due to its gentle nature. It is also a great way to stay fit and meet new friends, especially if you join a water aerobics class or take part in a swim challenge.
How To Getting Started With Swimming Workouts
Ready to enjoy the benefits of swimming? Getting started with swimming as part of your fitness routine is easy, but here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
- Find a local indoor or outdoor pool
- Sign up for lessons or a water aerobics class, if desired
- Have a comfortable suit and goggles
- If swimming in a lake, always be sure a lifeguard is on duty and pay attention to local water conditions
- Always warm up before swimming and follow a proper cool down as well
- Follow water safety rules
- Observe proper pool etiquette
From providing a whole body workout to improving sleep quality to being easy on the joints, there are many benefits of swimming. It is an excellent, gentle, affordable, convenient way to stay in shape and improve your overall well-being.
Do you include swimming as part of your fitness routine? What are your favourite benefits of swimming? We’d love to hear your feedback.