Recently, I started taking swimming lessons and all could I wonder was why I didn’t start it earlier in life. Swimming is undoubtedly one of the best cardio workouts and on the top of it, it is also one of the easiest forms of cardio workout once you get hold of it as you exert lesser while swimming compared to running or cycling but at the same time burn more calories during the swim.
Today, I would like to share some of the benefits of swimming that prompted me to add this workout into my daily regime and some of which I have already begun experiencing in my short journey of swimming.
Top 11 Benefits of Swimming Everyone Should Know
Swimming Develops Muscle Strength
Swimming, as you know, is all about countering the water pressure as well as gravity to keep floating or moving forward in any direction. Well, there’s neither any engine in our body nor we have fins attached to our body and the only way we can swim in water is by trying to move our hands and legs.
Such movement of hands, legs as well as the overall body builds the muscles strength that no gym training can offer. Training in the gym can, of course, develop the form but for strength any sort of cardio is necessary and Swimming is one of them and to be honest, it’s one of the best.
Swimming Relaxes Your Body and Mind
Swimming is a lot like Yoga inside water with some additional cardio movements. As Yoga teaches you discipline and helps you gain control over your breathing, Swimming also develops that control and discipline as you keep on swimming daily.
Hence, just like Yoga, Swimming to can help you relax your mind and body while developing a better discipline and control over your mind and body. It actually is even better than Yoga as Swimming eventually builds your stamina as well with better strength and cardiovascular activity.
Swimming Boosts Flexibility
If you have swum ever or seen someone swimming, you would see that Swimming requires a lot of flexibility. To keep your body afloat in water and push yourself forward against the natural gravity and water currents requires every single inch of your body to work for it.
Whether it’s your arms, upper body, neck, thighs, knees or toes, the whole body needs to be in sync and that necessity eventually develops flexibility within the body. Improved flexibility also defines and improves your posture and your overall personality becomes charismatic.
Swimming Is an Elite Calorie Burner
While you may wonder, there’s a reason I call swimming as an elite calorie burner. As you might consider running as the best cardio workouts, I would say otherwise. While running, you are simply moving forward without any sort of resistance, whereas swimming is all about resistance.
You are pushing through the water pressure and trying to move forward against the gravity as well as the water currents. Such a forward movement takes a lot of energy and at the end of the day, a lot of calories burn through the process. To get things straight, a 30 min butterfly speed session burns 150 more calories than a 5K run in the same timeframe.
Swimming Improves Breathing and Counters Asthma
As explained before that Swimming has certain benefits of Yoga and one such benefit is that it improves your breathing and lung capacity which eventually helps you counter Asthma. Studies have shown that regular Swimming can reduce Asthma symptoms and helps in improving the lung capacity.
A recent study of a group of kids found, after a six-week swimming program, that Asthma symptoms alleviated as well as helps in getting eased with snoring, improvement in mouth breathing and reduced hospital or ER visits. Even after the program ended, the improved health benefits of Swimming remained with the kids even after a year.
Swimming in Sea or Salt Water Can Rejuvenate Your Skin
While I wouldn’t recommend a newbie or a non-swimmer to directly jump into the sea, I would definitely suggest once you have a grip over it to dump the swimming pool and dive into the sea whenever you get a chance.
The reason is that the saline water actually helps in detoxifying the skin and helps it retain the moisture content. In addition to that, it is also by far healthier compared to the chlorinated water in the swimming pool.
Swimming Increases Bone Mass
If you don’t exercise regularly, your bones get weaker. On the other hand, if you do aerobic exercises such as running, then you can strengthen your bones and overall strength of your body. However, Swimming was often ridiculed by researchers and didn’t approve that even swimming can also improve bone mass.
But recently a research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that Swimming too can increase Bone Mineral Density (BMD) as well as femoral bone weight. While running is more beneficial in increasing bone mass in the body, the benefits of Swimming can’t be ignored that results in increased Bone Mineral Density (BMD) as well as overall bone mass and strength.
Swimming Can Help You Live Longer
Well, this might sound really motivating to many of you. Yes, Swimming can aid in both better health and longevity. A research study at the University of South Carolina monitored 40,547 men aged between 20 and 90 for over 32 years and found that the men who swam registered lower death rate compared to other regular walkers, runners or those men who didn’t exercise.
While one study is not enough to register a fact, it is not a rocket science to understand that regular workouts develop a healthy body, which in turn helps in longevity. In short, Swimming, being one of the best cardio exercises, can help your live healthy and longer.
Swimming Gets Rid of Stress and Depression
Swimming is a great stress buster. In fact, any form of workout actually helps you fight stress and depression. Happiness and sadness are feeling induced by hormones and Swimming can help you secrete endorphin that’s the reason for all those feel-good emotions.
In addition to those happy emotions, Swimming also helps you control your breathing which in return calms your mind and body, hence diverting your focus away from any kind of stress or worry. A research has also deduced that Swimming helps in reversing the affects depression and helps in fighting stress.
Swimming Makes You Smarter
Swimming is not only a workout for the body but also an exercise for the mind. Yes, like every other workout, Swimming is also great for the mind but a research from Australia concluded that kids who swam regularly became smarter as they could master languages faster, developed quick motor skills, as well as grown to be high in confidence.
Swimming Counters Inflammation
Besides the cardiovascular benefits, Swimming also aids in countering inflammation in the body. A research says that cardio workouts or aerobic activities such as swimming can reduce inflammation that causes atherosclerosis build-up in the heart. Such a system of countering inflammation helps in blocking the disease progression throughout the body and adding in lot many health benefits of swimming.
So, if you are thrilled, excited and motivated after reading the benefits of swimming, then it is time for you to find a swimming pool or a safe water body nearby and take a dive in.