Swimming is, in general, regarded as a nice way of helping you improve your blood flow and heart rate and help maintain your weight. But for so many people, these are the only benefits they see with swimming. They do not realise that the benefits of swimming go beyond those things. As a matter of fact, this activity has benefits that other exercises do not have.
If you hit the nearest swimming pool right now and swim a few laps, here are the other benefits that you can gain:
- Muscle toning
Water is twelve times the density of air, and because of this, it is more effective in toning your muscles compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercises you can do in another environment. When you swim in the pool, you work on your cardio and your body tone at the same time. Workouts done in water offer a certain level of water resistance, one that can be compared to using light weights on resistance machines you can find at the gym. Being submerged in water, however, creates a more controlled and more even resistance so you no longer need to concern yourself with counting repetitions. The resistance involved will be proportional to how hard you are pushing the water, allowing you to easily control how hard you are working.
- Forces you to breathe properly
There is more moisture in the air around the swimming pool compared to the gym. This moisture makes it easier for someone to breathe, perfect for anyone asthmatic and uncomfortable with doing cardio workouts in the track, park, or gym. Studies have proven that swimming vastly improves asthma symptoms, even if it has been a year since one stopped swimming.
Asthma sufferers are not the only ones who benefit from swimming. This exercise also helps increase the volume of your lungs and forces you to enhance your breathing techniques, which help you when running or lifting weights.
- Can be done for a long time without stressing you.
Because water can support your entire body weight, it is a nice way for anyone suffering from obesity or injured to get a full workout without the risk of overdoing it and injuring themselves further. In addition, swimming is a sport which does not cause stress to the skeleton. When working out in a swimming pool, you are not likely to make contact with hard surfaces, hence eliminating the possibility of straining your body. In addition, if swimming in a hot pool, the heat serves to loosen muscles and joints, which also helps to prevent injuries.
- Makes you more flexible
Many, if not all, machines available in many gyms today are isolation machines that work only certain parts of your body. This is not true in the case of swimming pools, since the activity forces you to use so many muscles at once. The strokes which use a wide arc target several arm muscles missed in basic workouts, while scissoring motions made with the legs forces the body to use more leg muscles in different fluid movements. Thus, in addition to the benefits stated above, swimming elongates and stretches the body due to the need to keep reaching further when doing different strokes.
- Enhances your mental health
Cycling on stationary bikes or running around race tracks is not appealing to so many people due to being stressful. Swimming, on the other hand, like yoga and meditation, can boost endorphins, which helps to increase the feeling of wellness.
- Keeps you from having diabetes
Swimming for more than thirty minutes four times per week, when combined with a balanced diet, is great for controlling blood sugar levels.
- Reduced cholesterol and blood pressure levels
A lot of scientific literature has also shown that this activity also helps to lower both your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. One study in particular found that one’s resting heart rate can go down after spending ten weeks swimming.
- Improved sleep
Like other exercises, swimming can help to improve one’s sleep and, of course, lessen instances of sleep problems. More than half of people who do heavy workouts on a regular basis (swimmers included), say that they almost do not experience symptoms connected with insomnia, like difficulty falling asleep and waking up way too early and having a hard time going back to sleep.
- Weight management
Doing breast strokes for half an hour burns hundreds of kilocalories, depending on two things: your speed and weight. This exercise beats walking, which just burns less than a hundred kilocalories when done in the same amount of time; cycling, which uses at least 200 kilocalories; and even running, which can burn a maximum of 300 kilocalories when it is done at the same amount of time. Eventually, you will find yourself having toned muscles, as mentioned in number one.
Some things to remember before hitting the water
As shown above, swimming has numerous benefits. But despite being one of the safest exercises around, make sure to see a general practitioner before you begin. Also, make sure to have the right swimming attire. Instead of wearing underwear or ordinary shorts on the swimming pool, wear swimming trunks, bikinis, or one-piece swimsuits that properly fit you instead.
You should also wear a good pair of goggles. Wearing a pair of these helps you avoid feeling the sting of chlorine in swimming pool water and bumping into the pool wall and other people while doing different swimming strokes.
If you want to truly benefit from swimming, make sure to take lessons if you have not taken swimming lessons yet. You can hire coaches in public swimming pools for private lessons or join their classes along with others who want to learn how to swim.
Although swimming is a fun workout, the necessary preparations may make it demotivating. Here are some tips to stay motivated to swim:
Swimming with friends
It helps to swim with someone with the same skill as you, as you will both progress together and give each other encouragement when one does not feel like swimming. Having a companion to interact with also distracts you from the fact that you are exercising, as you can both talk about anything while exercising. That said…
Mixing it up
You can also take part of a pool exercise class. Regardless of what classes you have chosen, they are a good, stress-free way to increase the intensity of your water workout. Just make sure to choose classes run by credible teachers.
Joining swimming clubs
Had fun swimming the past few weeks? Why not join a swimming club in your area? Clubs are a way of meeting new people and improving your swimming. In addition, clubs offer perks outside of the public pool or resort, like nights out or discounts at popular establishments.
Having your own swimming pool
A swimming pool right in your own home is motivating as it removes the need to travel to the nearest public pool. Not only that, a private pool allows you to do virtually anything you want to do, as you own the entire space. Let’s not forget that it raises the value of your home. For information on swimming pools you can install at home, check out: Premierpools.com.au