Swimming is a sport for all age groups, skill and fitness levels. Swimming is a great way to keep fit and well and make friends. Swimming is a healthy activity that you can continue for a lifetime. The water keeps you cool, even as your heart gets a great workout. You’ll probably be able to keep yourself going for a longer time than if you were running. That’s because it’s fun and gentle on your joints and muscles. The water can also feel relaxing. It is a low-impact activity that has many physical and mental health benefits. By combining swimming with weight-bearing activities, you’ll improve your overall health.
1. Weight control
Swimming is a great way to burn calories. Swimming is better than many other exercises at helping you burn those calories and lose or manage your weight. Some people thought that because water is generally cooler than our body temperatures, it would be difficult to lose weight with a water workout. For every 10 minutes of swimming: the breast stroke will burn 60 calories; the backstroke torches 80; the freestyle lights up 100; and the butterfly stroke incinerates an impressive 150. Thus, swimming is one of the biggest calorie burners around, and it’s great for keeping weight under control.
2. Lower risk of diabetes
Diabetes is mainly caused due to deficiency of insulin or if your cells are unable to respond to it. It exposes you to the natural method of controlling and keeping everything regarding your body. Since swimming makes sure that every part of the body needs to be working, it takes care of the insulin as well.
Swimming for at least half an hour three to four times a week, combined with eating a balanced low-glycaemic index (GI) diet, has been shown to control blood sugar levels. With just 30 minutes of breaststroke swimming three times per week, you could burn 900 calories, reducing your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes by over 10 percent. If you already have type 1 diabetes, the aerobic benefits of swimming can be particularly helpful, as this type of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity.
3. Improve cholesterol
It is beneficial to have higher levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Swimming can get these levels in the right balance thanks to its aerobic power, which has been proven to raise HDL levels. And for every 1 percent increase in HDL cholesterol, the risk of dying from heart disease drops by 3.5 percent. Aerobic exercises like swimming causes arteries to expand and contract, it keeps them fit. Also, the endothelium of your blood vessels will be more flexible when you swim. As one of the best advantages of swimming, it is showed that people who still swim in their 60’s will have endothelium that is like that of people in their 30’s.
4. Increase muscle tone and strength
Swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone especially compared to several other aerobic exercises. Swimming gives you a total body workout. Your muscles will be stronger in no time if you start swimming regularly. Every kick and every arm stroke in swimming becomes a resistance exercise and it’s well known that resistance exercises are the best way to build muscle tone and strength. It engages your muscles in the action and muscles when exposed to an optimum level of stress tend to normalize and build themselves. Thus, it tones your body, as well as fills your muscles with strength. With toned and strong muscles, our immunity system will also become stronger. Swimming has also been shown to improve bone strength especially in post-menopausal women.
5. Increase flexibility
When you swim, you must twist, reach, stretch, and pull your body through the thick water. This repeated stretching found in various strokes can make swimmers more flexible. Swimming puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. It helps give you a good stretch from head to toe The more we use body parts, the more flexible they will be and make you less prone to injuries.
The water will relieve you in this scorching heat, you’ll be cured of muscles pains and jerks, some of which are of very serious nature, and must not be taken lightly under any circumstances. To improve your flexibility beyond the natural gains you’ll make by swimming, you might also want to finish your pool workout with a series of gentle stretches.
6. Lowers stress and depression
One of swimming’s most pleasant side effects is happiness, due to the release of feel-good chemicals known as endorphin. In addition to a natural high, swimming can also evoke the relaxation response the same way yoga works on the body. This is due in large part to the constant stretching and relaxing of your muscles combined with deep rhythmic breathing. Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by helps you focus inward and drown out all other distractions. This lowers stress and depression naturally.
Research also shows that swimming can reverse damage to the brain from stress through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. So, if you feel like you’re drowning emotionally, jumping in an actual body of water may be exactly what you need to find your feel-good feet again. So jump in that pool and swim a few laps if you’re feeling stressed.
7. Improve asthma symptoms
Swimming is a healthy form of aerobic exercise for people with asthma, especially for those whose symptoms are triggered by outdoor allergies or cold temperatures. The advantages of water-based exercise for people with asthma include breathing warm, humid air that often lacks or contains reduced levels of allergy-triggering substances found outdoors. The air’s moisture at a swimming pool makes it easier for people to breathe, which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma. In indoor swimming warm, moist air doesn’t irritate the lungs the way cold, dry air often does. Breathing humid air also cuts down on airway drying caused by an increased breathing rate during exercise As swimming increases overall lung-volume and teaches good breathing techniques, people who don’t have asthma benefit too.
8. Reduces inflammation
Swimming has excellent cardiovascular benefits and reduces the type of inflammation that results in a buildup of atherosclerotic plaque in the heart. It reduces inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis build-up in the heart. Reducing system-wide inflammation leads to lessen disease progression in many other areas as well, so expect to hear of more benefits as the research progresses. When you reduce inflammation, you can decrease the risk of many different cardiovascular and other inflammatory conditions. While swimming’s cardiovascular benefits of strengthening the heart muscle are common knowledge.
9. Reduce blood pressure
One of the greatest benefits of swimming is it lowers blood pressure. Swimming three times a week for 30 minutes has been shown to lower blood pressure and resting heart rate after just ten weeks. Since swimming relaxes your mind, you tend to be on the stress-free side of the curve, thus will handle everything with a cool head, which will help you relieve pressure from your heart, thus letting it pump at the sufficiently required pace. It has being reported that just 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent. When you lower your blood pressure, you also lower your risk of stroke, aneurysm, transient ischemic attack, dementia, disability, kidney disease, and heart disease significantly. Swimming can actually prolong your life.
10. Lengthen Your Life
Not only swimming but any amount of exercise increases your life span to a certain level. Researchers and scientist have found out that indulging in strenuous yet relaxing sport activities and exercise such as swimming can help a person live longer than someone who is dormant in sports and workouts. Men who swam regularly had about a 50 percent smaller risk of dying than sedentary men. Swimmers also had a lower mortality rate than men who walked and ran for their exercise. A recent study of more than 40,000 men for 32 years showed that the men who engaged in swimming had half the death rate over men who chose not to exercise. Thus, if you need the best and one of the easy ways to stay fit and healthy, and also longer, then swimming is the exact key for you. Swim, and feel the difference.