8 Reasons Swimming Is So Good for Your Health
Do you want to make a splash with your new workout routine? Why not take it in the water? Swimming has considerable benefits for your mental and physical health.
Besides that, getting in the water simply feels good. Remember the joy you once felt when you saw your caregivers loading the car to head to the pool as a kid? There’s no reason you can’t recreate that same magic as an adult, all while reaping the perks. Here are eight reasons why swimming is so good for your health.
1. The Water Creates Natural Resistance to Tone Muscles
What’s the best way to build muscle? If you think you have to hit the weight room, think again. Resistance training is one of the three principal components of a well-rounded fitness routine. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the Precor machines — it occurs any time you move your muscles against an external force — like the water.
“But,” you protest, “I want a workout I can do all year long, not only during the summer months.” Who said you had to become a polar bear and take an outdoor dip in January? Many regions have facilities such as the YMCA, which offer open indoor swimming hours where you can join for a reasonable fee. Think of the benefits for your kids — they’ll adore having a place where they can swim all year.
You can walk in the pool or use styrofoam water weights to tone your biceps just like you would on land. The water serves as resistance, giving you strength training and cardio in one shot.
2. The Buoyancy Takes Pressure Off Your Joints
Do you have arthritis or fibromyalgia pain? If so, your doctor indubitably told you to exercise on more than one occasion. However, how can you do so when the mere thought of lacing up your running shoes makes your knees ache? The answer? Get in the water.
Submerging yourself in chest-deep water supports a considerable percentage of your body weight, making movement more comfortable. You might not dream of jumping on the pool deck but make a splash and you can hop to your hearts’ content. If anything, the movement of the water over your joints feels like a gentle massage, soothing achy muscles and connective tissues.
3. The Right Speeds Get Your Heart Pumping
Cardiovascular fitness is the second component of a well-rounded fitness program. Is it possible to get your heart racing in the pool? Absolutely. Start by learning a new stroke. When you employ a different muscle group, your body must adapt. Your body grows new capillaries to supply those muscles with sufficient oxygen and blood. That takes considerable energy, and you may find a single lap or two leaves you winded.
Another idea? Pick up the pace. The faster you swim, the harder your heart will beat. You can also try new activities, such as aqua aerobics, to engage different muscles and give yourself a challenge.
Do you remember the thrill of racing as a kid? If you have a swimming buddy, why not recreate the fun of friendly competition against each other as you do your laps? Working out with a pal helps to keep you on track with your fitness program, as it’s hard to stay on the couch when you know they’re waiting for you poolside.
4. You Can Increase Your Flexibility
Maybe yoga is your jam. If so, have you thought about taking your routine in the water? You’ll find it a snap to hold poses like the dancer with the water to support you. Tree poses no longer makes you totter like a willow in the breeze.
Maybe you want a balance challenge. If so, why not try yoga on a paddleboard? You might have to search a bit to find a facility with this offering, but it will rip your abs like few other workouts.
5. It’s Natural to Bring a Friend
The more people, the merrier by the poolside. It’s natural to bring a friend with you. Doing so might be the ideal way to get that reluctant buddy off the couch.
What if they balk because they feel insecure in a bathing suit? Why not go swimsuit shopping together? A little retail therapy can help you both beat the blues and encourage your healthy new hobby.
6. You Can Get the Kids Involved
Most children adore the water. The World Health Organization wants little ones up and moving for at least an hour each day, and swimming can help them meet their quota.
It also prevents accidental drownings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4,000 children die from this hazard every year.
7. You Have to Practice Deep Breathing
Deep, controlled breathing benefits your health by reducing stress. Too much tension contributes to premature death.
However, swimming forces you to focus on your inhales and exhales. Want a challenge? Why not see how long you can hold your breath, challenging yourself each pool day?
8. Water Is Naturally Relaxing
Excess stress contributes to fatal illnesses and chronic diseases. Few things soothe the soul like the water.
Studies suggest that simply being near the water can reduce stressful feelings. It can also lower your respiration and heart rate. Over time, it could reduce high blood pressure, reducing your risk for heart disease.
Why Swimming Is So Good for Your Health
Are you seeking a new workout that’s challenging and fun? Why not get in the pool?
Swimming is so good for your health for all of the above reasons. Grab your swimsuit and make a splash today.