Water splashes, screams of joy, and better yet, hidden benefits! Although perceived as a joyful and a fun activity, swimming has plenty of advantages that you might not be aware of. Not only does it keep your body in shape, but it is also therapeutic, and it helps in preventing the occurrence of certain diseases.
Swim to TONE
While swimming, you are actually putting almost all of your muscles into action. Unlike cycling, jogging, or lifting weights, swimming forces your entire body to engage in motion. Whether you’re using the freestyle swimming technique, breaststrokes, backstrokes, or even butterfly strokes, you are working on both: your upper and lower body. Your arms, for instance, can get leaner since the biceps, triceps, and the shoulder muscles are active in all mentioned strokes. Moreover, when it comes to your legs, the calves, hamstrings, quads, and feet muscles are all engaged as well. Furthermore, since you have to maintain a streamlined body, or twist in certain ways underwater to ease your movement through, your abdominal muscles, your waist, and your chest muscles are in involved in this exercise too. Additionally, your back muscles – neck and rhomboid – are especially active when performing the freestyle technique.
Swim to LIVE
Swimming is an aerobic exercise. It strengthens your lungs and develops cardiovascular endurance. In addition, it improves blood circulation and body flexibility. It also affects the cholesterol levels in the body by increasing the HDL levels (good cholesterol) and decreasing the LDL levels (bad cholesterol), which lowers the chances of suffering from heart-related diseases. Furthermore, according to Medical Daily, swimming benefits your brain as well. In fact, “researchers have made a surprising discovery: Simply steeping yourself in a pool of warm water increases blood flow in the brain — just one reason why swimming is so good for you.” For those who are suffering from diabetes, swimming helps control their blood sugar level with minimal stress on their joints. Gary Hall, a former competitor swimmer who won 10 Olympic medals suffered from type 1 diabetes.
Swim to TREAT
Swimming is a low-impact sport – it doesn’t exert pressure on the joints or the bones due to the water’s buoyancy. As a result, water-based exercises are extremely suitable for those who suffer from arthritis – swimming keeps their joints flexible while avoiding injuries. According to the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program: “The gentle activities in warm water . . . help improve strength and flexibility. Participants enjoy decreased pain and stiffness.” In addition, swimming is a common resort for injured runners. It helps in maintaining their fitness, developing endurance, and it speeds up the recovery process.
Lastly, depending on your weight and effort, you could burn between 50 – 900 calories per hour while swimming. So, if you were trying to lose some weight, or to maintain a healthy lifestyle, go for it! Grab your swimsuit, goggles, and sunscreen because summer is here to stay.