Did you know that swimming is one of the very few sports that engage every single major muscle of the human body? Whether your goal is building endurance, working on your strength, improving your breathing and lung capacity, or just diversifying your fitness routine, swimming is the sport you should consider.
Swimming is not only a low-intensity workout, it also helps with building muscles, boosting endurance, and developing strength.
For those with multiple sclerosis and osteoarthritis, it might be the best form of exercise.
Swimming is the safest sport due to its low risk of injuries.
Swimming – one of the best workouts:
It is not a secret that swimming has been one of the best types of physical activity for multiple reasons. One of them is the fact that your muscles, skeleton, and joints are completely released from the gravity limitation when being in the water. Besides, people suffering from various forms of arthritis can easily incorporate swimming into their everyday lifestyle without having to worry about heavy fitness sets.
As already mentioned earlier, a full-body workout is guaranteed to all who sign up for a quick dive in the pool, since swimming is the only sport involving almost every muscle group of the body. In addition to the physical benefits of swimming such as burning calories, building muscles, improving posture, and many more, it might heal your mental health as well. A study showed that constant swimming lowers risks of depression and anxiety, which has a direct impact on emotional well-being.
Another advantage which may be surprising for all is that some findings support that regular swimming impacts social dominance in a lasting and sex-dependent manner, driven by physiological adaptation.
Health benefits of swimming
There are dozens of health benefits when it comes to swimming. The most significant ones are discussed in greater detail below.
Building physique and muscles
Although swimming is considered to be an aerobic, low-impact exercise, it is also great resistance training to work out all the muscle groups in the body without destroying your joints like you would in weightlifting. The main impact, while swimming, is obviously on the upper body such as the back, shoulders, forearm, and core muscles but let’s not forget the importance of kicking which engages the glutes and feet. So, yes, swimming is a full-body workout.
Not only swimming is a perfect way to strengthen your physique but also to boost your endurance. Due to consistent and steady breathing while swimming, it allows you to constantly receive the amount of oxygen needed to continue exertion for prolonged periods of time.
The are 4 different strokes in swimming:
Boosting metabolism and burning calories
Have you ever experienced coming from the pool and starving to death? Yes? It is because normally exercises performed on dry land elevate body temperature. Yet, swimming has a completely different impact since body temperature in the water stays fairly low. A study has proven that water-related activities have been more beneficial in burning calories and increasing human metabolism in contrast to those on dry land.
An easy dive in the pool for an hour would burn around 500 calories whereas a faster-designed set will aim for 700 calories. Depending on the stroke, the person’s weight, and the efficiency in the water, the numbers might slightly vary. Some more complex strokes (butterfly) burn more calories than simpler ones (breaststroke).
Improving mental condition
Just getting in the water and leaving all the problems behind for a while will progress your emotional state. While swimming, our body releases endorphins (happiness hormones) which enhance our positivity, increase energy, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Preventing the risks of various diseases
Multiple studies have been conducted on the positive effects swimming has in correlation with disease prevention. Everything from lowering the blood pressure to helping with osteoarthritis and vascular problems, swimming is undoubtedly the workout for all.
Additionally, horizontal body position and resistance in the water makes swimming one of the safest sports. The risks of rapid, unexpectedly hurting movements are lowered due to water density which is 800 more than air.
Enhancing your intelligence
It might sound shocking but swimming can increase your IQ. Your biological and mental health are highly correlated. Dr. Win Wenger mentioned in one of his books that one of the efficient methods to boost your intelligence is getting involved in swimming. Just 3 weeks of underwater exercise is all it takes to notice a significant improvement in IQ, mental concentration, and cognitive functioning. Furthermore, a research paper has shown that swimming is an undeniable factor in reducing the aging process and stimulating longevity.
Helping people with Multiple Sclerosis
Since the range of motion is quite limited in the water, a variety of aquatic exercise programs are recommended for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. As mentioned above, because of the water density level, swimming is very beneficial in developing flexibility, balance, and gait cycle. It is very common among neurologists to prescribe and treat multiple sclerosis with numerous water therapies.
Swimming – where to start?
Swimming is not the workout to jump in immediately with no physical background or certain training. Consider starting slow and gradually increasing the volume. There are a few steps to keep in mind when approaching a swim practice:
- Equipment and gear. A swimsuit, goggles, and a swim cap are the essentials for every swimmer or amateur. Diversify your sets with fins, a pull-buoy, kickboard, and paddles.
- Begin easy and moderately build up the speed. Be realistic. First weeks in the water won't be easy. Try swimming for 30 seconds and taking a 30 seconds rest. Afterwards, incorporate kicking, various drills and try reducing the rest time.
- Technique and speed. Swimming is definitely one of the most beneficial sports but also the most challenging one due to its complex technique structure. To be able to swim fast, efficient, and with high endurance, technique is the first step to master.
There are never enough words to describe the beauty and benefits of swimming. It is a wonderful workout for people of all ages and with different physical backgrounds. Depending on the type of swimming set, this aquatic exercise will improve your strength, increase stamina, impact your posture and boost your mood. So, find a swimsuit and start your best health journey.