Forget sweating away in the gym for hours on end, battling against the wind and rain on your daily run, or tackling the traffic on your road bike. Imagine swimming in your very own heated pool, in serene conditions, a few times a week for as long as you like.
No matter what your age, swimming can provide a plethora of health benefits, a regular swimming program can prolong your life, leaving you feeling younger and looking trimmer, it can even increase brain activity!
This post walks you through just a few of the never-ending benefits of swimming:
Working Out Minus the Impact
Some types of exercise, running, for example, can be really high impact, whereas swimming takes the pressure away from your muscles and bones, allowing you to exercise without the pressure.
When you’re in the water you’re immediately lighter, submerge yourself up to your waist and your body only has to take 50% of your bodyweight, dunk yourself in up to your neck and let the water hold up to 90% of your body weight. For people who have stiff and sore joints, swimming is the perfect, low impact exercise.
The Arthritis Foundation highly recommends swimming and water aerobics to those suffering from arthritis as the low impact exercise protects joints from stresses and strains. Using the pool to stretch and strengthen your muscles is said to provide quick relief from the pain of arthritis with some people even claiming that they are pain-free when in the confines of a heated pool.
Weight Loss and Muscle Tone
Depending on the intensity of your swim, you can burn anywhere between 500-650 calories per hour, combined with a balanced diet you could soon see a difference in your weight. The brilliant thing about swimming is that it’s a workout for your whole body; the water creates resistance and resistance exercise is one of the most effective ways to build up strength and tone muscles.
Much like yoga, swimming relaxes your body and your mind, the constant stretching and relaxing of muscles twinned with your rhythmic breathing and the gentle splashing of the water drowns out distractions, calms your body, and brings tranquillity to your mind.
Reduces Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Levels and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
According to the Amateur Swimming Association, if you swim for around half an hour, three to four times a week (combined with a balanced diet), this can help control blood sugar levels. The ASA also found that swimming for that amount of time each week can also lower your blood pressure and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood while increasing good cholesterol.
Improves Sleep Patterns
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that people who regularly take on a vigorous form of exercise such as swimming where twice as likely to have a good night’s sleep almost every night than those who didn’t exercise.
There are literally hundreds of reasons why swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can take on. Aside from the health benefits, it’s also something the whole family can get involved in as well as being an exercise that will never be hindered by the weather, rain or shine!