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Health Benefits of Swimming

Health Benefits of Swimming

If you want the benefits of a cardio workout without all that sweat, swimming is what you are looking for. Swimming is one of the best and most famous physical activities. Swimming for an hour daily burns the same number of calories as running, without all the stress and impact on your bones and joints. Even if you are not planning to make swimming your main workout, it is very important to be a good swimmer for safety reasons.

 Swimming gives you all the benefits of an aerobic workout without putting stress on your bones. Even athletes swim to stay fit during injuries. The benefits of swimming go beyond your imagination.

 Continue reading our blog to discover why is swimming good for you, backed by a list of all the swimming health benefits.

Is Swimming a Good Workout?

 Absolutely! There is an extensive range of health benefits of swimming. It isn’t just good for you; it’s an excellent exercise. 

 The water’s buoyancy and resistance makes it gentler on your body compared to the other forms of exercises. And when it comes to cardiovascular workouts, swimming is physically kind to your body, causing less strain than the other alternatives. Moreover, it is a great option for almost everyone, regardless of the age or gender.

What Does Swimming Do For Your Body?

Increases Strength and Muscle Definition

With swimming, you can gain muscle mass in all parts of your body. Unlike running, which only helps you build your leg muscles, swimming targets all muscle groups of your body. Your arms, legs, abdominals, shoulders, chest, and back all come into play. This helps you have the dream body. This also increases your strength. The physique of professional swimmers should be an inspiration for you. Thus, if you swim regularly, you do not need to hit the gym anymore!

Stretches Your Entire Body

Swimming is a great stretching exercise too. It is like running and doing gymnastics at the same time. As your hands reach out, your ankles move like fins, your legs stretch while kicking outwards, your back and hips twist, and your whole body gets stretched. Thus, regular swimming would make your body even more stretchable. The point to remember is that regular swimming does not mean you do not need to take stretching sessions anymore. You will still need to continue with stretching exercises, but various strokes of swimming also act as great stretching poses.

Strengthens Lungs

Being a wholesome physical activity, swimming benefits the entire body by keeping all the muscles involved from head to toe – Moreover, it not only targets the exterior but also our internal body; and among all the benefits of swimming, lungs have been deemed as the biggest benefactors. So much so that it is highly recommended for people who’ve been diagnosed with lungs related conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Burns Calories

Swimming, undoubtedly, is a great way to burn additional calories. By swimming, you can burn as many or even more calories than running. This depends on your style, speed, and the strokes you choose. Swimming for 10 minutes with butterfly strokes burns an astonishing 150 calories. Whereas, running a mile in 10 minutes burns around a hundred calories. This shows how effective swimming can be when it comes to burning calories.

Strengthens Cardiovascular System

In swimming, not just your muscles are being used, twisted, and stretched, but your cardiovascular system also gets a great workout. Regular swimming strengthens your heart and your lungs. Thus, swimming lowers the risk of a stroke. Research shows that swimming can even reduce your risk of death. People who are regular swimmers have half the risk of death, compared to inactive people. Swimming also helps to lower blood pressure to control blood sugar levels.

Works Your Entire Body

The biggest advantage of swimming is that, unlike any other activity, it works your entire body. When we say, ‘’the entire body,” we mean it. From head to toe, all your body muscles and joints are used while swimming. Swimming helps you to have a great aerobic workout without sweating. It increases your heart rate without putting stress on your body. Regular swimming tones your muscles, builds strength, and increases your stamina and endurance.

Appropriate for People with Arthritis or Injuries

When it comes to injuries, arthritis, and other conditions, swimming is the best physical activity. Swimming not just gives you a chance to stay fit while being injured but it also speeds up your recovery process. Since it does not put stress on your body, it is a great option for people with conditions that make high-impact exercises difficult. Studies show that people with osteoarthritis report significant reductions in physical limitations, joint pain, and stiffness, after swimming.

Helps Asthmatic People

Swimming is a great aerobic workout for people with asthma. The humid conditions in indoor pools help people with asthma. The additional activities, like breathing exercises, associated with swimming are also great for asthma patients. Patients visiting primary care centers regularly are often counseled to include swimming in their routine. Holding your breath, for a long time while swimming, strengthens your lungs and helps you with getting control over your breathing. However, health care specialists recommend that if you have asthma you should prefer saltwater over-chlorinated water.

Helps You with the Sleep

Swimming is a great remedy for people who have difficulty sleeping. All aerobic exercises help people with insomnia in boosting their life-quality and sleep. After swimming and engaging your whole body in exercise, you get tired which helps you sleep as soon as you fall on the bed.

It is Fun

Swimming is a fun activity. It does not feel like a chore. Swimming with friends is a great way to release stress. Swimming in a community pool may also help you to make new friends. Swimming is also an established sport. There are swimming teams in most localities. You may also become part of a swimming team and take it to the next level.

It is Age-Friendly

 Swimming is beneficial for people of all ages. No matter how old or young you are, swimming is great exercise for you. Even for elderly people, swimming helps deal with sleeping difficulties, faced by most aged people. It also does not put stress on your body. This means that it will not affect children’s growth. This low-stress factor also makes it a great exercise for elderly people. High stress on bones may cause joint pain in aged people.

It is Affordable

 Swimming is a very affordable exercise. Unlike most other physical activities, it does not require you to buy lots of special equipment. All you need is a swimsuit, even the goggles are optional. One can easily find a swimming pool in their neighborhood. The registration fee for these pools is easily affordable. Even if you have a swimming pool at home, its maintenance does not cost much. Thus, you can easily enjoy all the benefits of a great aerobic workout without having to pay a lot.

Supports in Stress Management

 Since the discovery that swimming benefits include stress management as well, there have been countless studies conducted to verify its effectiveness. And while this area does require more research, most of the conducted studies have proven that swimming helped people who were suffering from stress or depression, substantially.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many calories does swimming burn?

The calorie burn in swimming varies, but on average, it can range from 400 to 700 calories per hour, depending on factors like intensity and swim style.

What muscles does swimming work?

Swimming primarily targets muscles in the upper body, including the shoulders, chest, arms, and back. It also engages the core and leg muscles for stability and propulsion.

When was swimming invented?

Swimming has ancient origins, but organized swimming competitions date back to the 19th century. The National Swimming Society, established in London in 1837, played a key role in formalizing the sport.

How to lose weight swimming?

Swimming for weight loss involves regular sessions with a mix of strokes, maintaining a calorie deficit, and incorporating a balanced diet. A few tips that would offer further help include:

Swim in the morning
Do not eat before swimming
Bring variations in your swim routine
Use water weights
Consult a dietician to adjust your diet accordingly

Is swimming cardio?

Yes, swimming is a cardio exercise as it engages your cardiovascular system, improving heart health and endurance.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 09/24/2019

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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