Have you considered swimming as a form of physical activity before?
Swimming is unlike any other aerobic exercise and has been called the perfect all around sport! Regardless of your level of fitness, it offers a long list of benefits to your body, mind and more! It is a recreational activity that can be done by almost anyone and continued for a lifetime as it’s a low impact sport.
Having swum competitively for over 7 years, I have come up with 4 main health benefits of swimming and would recommend it to anyone! So take a deep breath and dive in to discover more…
1. Working your whole body
Swimming is the perfect all around activity as it engages almost all of our muscle groups at the same time. Additionally, unlike other forms of exercise, swimming has a lot of variety. There are four different types of strokes, and each one has its own unique approach: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. So changing up your stroke when swimming will allow you to target different muscle groups as well as the level of intensity and cardio.
Moreover, once you master your technique and are able to speed up in your strokes, swimming is the perfect sport to tone up. Exercising in water forces our body to work harder, a 30 minute swim is worth 45 minutes on land. So once you start to swim, you can expect to see more definition in your body – particularly in your arms, back and legs.
2. Boosting heart and lung health
Of course, there are other cardio workouts like running or cycling that can burn more calories than swimming. However, these exercises can often result in sore ankles or knees because they are high intensity physical activities which can exacerbate aching joints. Water naturally holds us up as we glide through it, this reduces the unnecessary stress and body weight put onto our hips, ankles and knees when performing another type of exercise.
In addition, swimming keeps our heart rate up and helps build stamina. It is the ultimate cardiovascular exercise, strengthening our heart. It also trains our body to use oxygen more efficiently, increasing lung capacity and endurance.
3. Reducing stress and boosting mood
When exercising, our body naturally reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. At the same time it creates mood lifters known as endorphins. This creates the perfect balance, increasing positivity and decreasing negativity. Moreover, swimming is one of the few sports that allows us to fully disconnect from the world, giving our mind and thoughts time to power down. Unlike walking on a treadmill where we have access to our mobile phones, being in the water takes away this ability of constant digital stimulation.
4. Improving sleep quality
The last main health benefit that stands out is improved sleep quality. This is linked to the fact that swimming reduces stress and tension, helping us feel more relaxed and providing a calming effect. In general, there is a strong correlation between better sleep and any type of exercise. But since swimming uses the entire body and water requires more effort to move in, the quality of sleep is even higher.
These 4 health benefits of swimming are just the tip of the pyramid. Grab your swimsuit and a towel to discover all the wonders that swimming can do for your health!