Everybody can receive great benefits from Swimming
1. Works your whole body
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it truly works
your entire body, head to toe and can:
- increase your heart rate without stressing your
- tone muscles
- build strength
- build endurance
There are various strokes and swimming drills you can use to add variety to your
swimming workout. Each stroke focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a
gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim, you’re using most of your
muscle groups to move your body through the water.
2. Works your insides, too
While your muscles are getting a good workout, your cardiovascular
system is, too. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong. Studies have shown that swimming may also help lower blood pressure and control
3. Good for people with injuries, arthritis, and other
Swimming can be a safe exercise option for people with:
- other issues that make high-impact exercises
Swimming may even help reduce some of your pain or improve your
recovery from an injury. One study showed that people with osteoarthritis
reported significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness, and experienced
less physical limitation after engaging in swimming.
4. Good option for people with asthma
The humid environment of indoor pools makes swimming a great
activity for people with asthma. Not only that, but breathing exercises
associated with the sport, like holding your breath, may help you expand your
lung capacity and gain control over your breathing.
Some studies suggest that swimming may increase your risk for
asthma because of the chemicals used to treat pools. Talk to your doctor about
the potential risks of swimming if you have asthma, and, if possible, look for
a pool that uses salt water instead of chlorine.
5. Beneficial for people with MS, too
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) may also find swimming
beneficial. Water makes the limbs buoyant, helping to support them during
exercise. Water also provides a gentle resistance.
In one study, a 20-week swimming programme resulted in significant
reduction of pain for people with MS. These people also showed improvements
with symptoms like fatigue, depression, and disability.
6. Burns calories
Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories. A 160-pound person
burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or
moderate pace and this increases to 715 calories when swimming at
a more vigorous pace. A 200-pound person doing the same activities would burn
between 528 and 892 calories an hour. A 240-pound person might burn between 632
and 1,068 calories.
To compare these numbers to other popular low-impact activities,
that same 160-pound person would only burn around 314 calories walking at 3.5
miles per hour for 60 minutes. Yoga might burn just 183 calories per hour and the elliptical trainer might burn just 365 calories in that hour.
7. Improves your sleep
Swimming may have the power to help you sleep better at night. In
a study of older adults with insomnia, participants reported both a boost in
quality of life and sleep after engaging in regular aerobic exercise.
Nearly 50 percent of older persons experience some level of
insomnia, so this is excellent news. The study focused on all types of aerobic
exercise, including the elliptical, Stairmaster, bicycle, pool, and exercise
Swimming is accessible to a wide range of people who deal with
physical issues that make other exercises, like running, less appealing. That
can make swimming a good choice for older adults looking to improve their
8. Boosts your mood
Researchers evaluated a small group of people with dementia, and
saw an improvement in mood after participating in a 12-week aquatic programme.
Swimming and aquatic workouts aren’t just psychologically beneficial for people
with dementia; exercise has been shown to boost mood in other people, as well.
9. Helps manage stress
Researchers surveyed a group of swimmers immediately before and
after swimming and of the 101 people
surveyed, 44 reported being mildly depressed and feeling stress related to
fast-paced life. After swimming, the number of people who still reported
feeling stressed decreased to just eight.
While more research needs to be done in this area, the researchers
conclude that swimming is a potentially powerful way to relieve stress quickly.
10. Safe during pregnancy
Pregnant women and their babies can also reap some wonderful
rewards from swimming. The water offers physical support for the mother, allowing her to exercise safely in all three trimesters.
Keep in mind that while swimming is generally considered safe
during pregnancy, some women may have activity restrictions due to complications
in pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise programme
during pregnancy, and if you have complications, ask about activities that are
11. Great for kids, too
Kids need a minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. It
doesn’t need to feel like a chore either. Swimming is a fun activity and
doesn’t necessarily feel like formal working out.
Your child can do either structured swimming lessons or be part of
a swim team with our Swim Stars swimming school. Unstructured swim time with a parent offers a fun activity for both parent and child.