Swimming is a really fun thing to do, especially when you have a nice lake to swim in the summertime. It’s an activity that kids love because they get to frolic and splash around for hours on end, plus water slides and diving boards are always a blast too. The fun that swimming brings you is just a minor part of the equation though, because swimming is one of the world’s best forms of exercise.
The benefits of swimming are immense and widespread. This is a very fun type of exercise that has numerous mental and physical health benefits. So, let’s get right to it and talk about why you should find the nearest pool and jump in it as soon as you can!
Benefit #1: Swimming Is Easy On The Joints
Something that anybody with joint problems, bone problems, or something like arthritis will appreciate is that swimming is really easy on the joints. Now, exercise that puts stress on the joints can be healthy for your bones and joints, but that is only true if you already have a healthy skeletal and joint system.
If you are already suffering from bone or joint injuries, then exercises that put too much pressure or weight on them will be detrimental and probably quite painful too. Water makes you buoyant, plus it does not require you to put any weight on your feet, legs, or arms. Therefore you can get some really good exercise without damaging your bones and joints.
This is something that is especially beneficial for the elderly who may be suffering from health conditions related to the joints. Hey, the elderly still need good exercise, but most likely a type that won’t hurt the knees or ankles. Swimming is a very intense form of exercise that can do just as much as running or cycling, just without all of the added stress on the bones and joints.
Benefit #2: Swimming Suits Your Preferences - It Is Great For Everybody
Something that everybody can like about swimming is that it is quite versatile. Some people like to exercise alone, which is why swimming is so great. It takes a lot of concentration to swim, plus it’s not like you can socialize when you are in the middle of a lap in the pool. It’s a great form of exercise that lets you get some alone time with your thoughts and get away from the hassle of everyday life.
On the other hand, if you like to exercise in a group, you can always go with some friends or family. It’s a great way to get to know new people at the pool, plus you can have competitions with your friends too. You might not be doing too much talking with your friends while you are actually swimming, but before and after every lap is a good time for conversation and for some friendly smack talk.
Moreover, swimming is a great family activity to engage in. If you like spending time with your family and if you like exercising, swimming is definitely a great way to go. Bring your family to the local lake or pool, maybe there will even be some diving boards and water slides for the kids. Furthermore, swimming is great for everybody because kids can learn to swim at a young age, adults love doing it, and it gives the elderly a great way to get some light exercise too.
Swimming is literally one of those rare forms of exercise that everybody can participate in, that allows for socializing or for spending time on your own, and it’s something that can be a great family activity too. Not to mention that there is no better way to get your kids into the habit of exercising than at a young age, especially because swimming is very fun.
Benefit #3: Swimming Is Great For Weight Loss
The next thing that we can all appreciate about swimming is that it is awesome for weight loss. Swimming is a pretty intense form of exercise to engage in, one that can actually burn more calories than running, at least if you swim at a good pace.
Just to put things in perspective, a 10-minute swim can burn anywhere from 60 to 150 calories depending on which stroke you are doing. In comparison, swimming actually burns more calories than running in the exact same amount of time, plus you don’t have to worry about that stinging sweat getting into your eyes.
Your body needs calories to convert into the energy you need to swim, but if there are not enough calories present, your body will turn to your fat reserves for energy conversion. As you can see, either your body is burning away that Big Mac in your stomach, or it is burning away the Big Mac that has lodged itself on your gut as belly fat. Either way, swimming is fantastic in terms of achieving your weight loss goals.
Not to mention that strenuous exercise such as swimming will also increase the number of calories you burn for the rest of the day. As you can see, swimming can help contribute to your weight loss goals in a number of ways.
Benefit #4: Salt Water Swimming Is A Free Skin Treatment
Something that you may not know about swimming in the ocean or in salt water is that it is very healthy for your skin. If you suffer from acne, rashes, or other skin conditions, you will love the effect that saltwater has on human skin. The salt and other compounds present in ocean water will go a long way in cleaning your skin and getting rid of unwanted blackheads, whiteheads, and other skin conditions.
Swimming in salt water on a regular basis will help your skin retain more moisture in the long run, thus making it look healthier, tighter, and better nourished. Moreover, the salt water does a great job at washing out your pores and getting rid of old sweat, dirt, and debris which can cause acne, inflammation, and other skin conditions. A good swim in the ocean will make your skin smoother, tighter, and healthier than ever.
Benefit #5: Swimming Helps Make You More Flexible
Yet another benefit that you get from swimming on a regular basis is that it helps make you more flexible. We all know that you should definitely stretch before doing any kind of exercise. This is to limber up your joints and muscles, warm them up, and get them ready to move at a high pace, as well as move in ways which you aren’t used to. Constant stretching will help make you more flexible over time, thus increasing your range of motion and decreasing the chances of suffering an exercise related injury.
Not that you should not stretch before swimming, especially if you are new to the sport, but in essence, swimming is a great way to get your stretching and exercise in at the very same time. The ways in which your body and limbs move in the water, especially when you consider the resistance of swimming at high speeds, naturally stretches out your whole body.
When you swim you naturally stretch your limbs to get the power and forward movement that swimming is all about. For example, you stretch your feet into something that resembles a fish’s fin in order to swim as fast as you can, thus stretching out your legs and feet. If you aren’t very flexible and have a limited range of motion, swimming might just be the stretch that you need to get rid of those problems.
Benefit #6: It Helps Strengthen Muscles
By far one of the biggest benefits that you will get from swimming on a regular basis is that it will help strengthen all of the muscles in your body. Swimming takes a lot of power to do, especially if you swim for a very long time and if you swim at your top speed. Water may not seem like a very big obstacle, but it provides more than enough resistance to challenge your muscles substantially.
Swimming is a great form of resistance training, with many people even equating it to light strength training. The beauty about swimming, when compared to other forms of exercise such as running or biking, is that it serves to work out all of the muscles in your body at once. Exercise like running or biking only targets your legs for the most part, and lifting weights only targets specific areas.
On the other hand, swimming requires the use of your legs, back, arms, chest, core, and virtually every other muscle in your body too. Don’t get it wrong, swimming won’t turn you into a Hulk Hogan like muscle machine, but it will help build strong and lean muscle with a toned body. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want stronger muscles? Stronger muscles will make it easier to win those swimming competitions, easier to lift weights, and will make your everyday activities much easier!
On a side note, an exercise like swimming that really uses your muscles is also great for preventing and controlling diabetes. This is because diabetes is the body’s inability to process glucose. However, when you exercise, your muscles use up glucose, this reducing the need for your body to deal with it. We aren’t going to go into the exact details, but take our word for it when we say that controlling diabetes and its symptoms is vital for a long and healthy life.
Benefit #7: Swimming Is Cheap
Something which everyone will be able to appreciate about swimming as a primary form of exercise is that it is relatively cheap to do. All you need to get swimming is a swim suit, some goggles, and a functioning body. You are looking at spending maybe 80 dollars tops on both of those things, and that is if you buy the fancy stuff.
If you have a lake or something like that close by to your home, then you have a free source of water for swimming right there. If you don’t have an open body of water close to you, you can still go to your local indoor or outdoor pool, which is still pretty cheap because most pools only charge a couple bucks to use. At any rate, swimming is one of those financially affordable activities that does not require you to pay for some ridiculously overpriced gym membership.
Benefit #8: Swimming Is Great For Your Heart And Lungs
Yet another big benefit that you reap from swimming on a regular basis is that it is fantastic cardiovascular exercise with numerous benefits for your heart and lungs. The way to strengthen your heart and lungs, as well as to increase their efficiency, is to train them through cardio exercise, much like strength training builds pure muscle mass.
Swimming will definitely get your heart pumping and your lungs heaving, therefore exercising them quite well. Good cardio exercise has the ability to increase the efficiency of your heart, letting it pump more blood around your body with less effort. This has the effect of lowering your resting heart rate, controlling blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart and arterial disease, and stopping heart attacks and strokes in their tracks.
On that same note, swimming is also great for your lungs. The more you exercise your lungs through an activity like swimming, the more efficient they become at absorbing, processing, and distributing oxygen throughout your body. This is also known as your VO2 Max or the maximum amount of oxygen that your lungs can process. This helps to reduce breathing related issues and diseases, it helps increase physical output, and it helps stop you from getting winded on that big flight of stairs too.
Benefit #9: Building Endurance
Something that we lightly touched on in previous points is that swimming can go a long way in increasing your endurance. Like we mentioned before, swimming helps your heart work better and makes your lungs more efficient. The ultimate effect here is that your body has an easier time at processing oxygen and sending it to the various parts of your body inside of your blood. Your lungs process the oxygen and your heart pumps it around your body.
Well, the more blood and oxygen your muscles get, as well as protein and other nutrients in your blood, the harder they can work and the longer they can go for, not to mention that it helps them heal faster too. There is also the fact that stronger muscles are an obvious asset when it comes to any kind of physical activity.
Benefit #10: It Will Make You Happier
The final benefit that we want to talk about when it comes to swimming is that it can actually make you a much happier and more relaxed person. This has to do with the fact that your brain releases certain neurochemicals when you perform intense exercise such as swimming. These neurochemicals are often known as feel happy chemicals because of their positive effects.
In essence, what we are talking about here is the runner’s high, but for the purposes of this article, we will call it the swimmer’s high. Rigorous exercise causes your brain to release excessive amounts of dopamine, serotonin, and endocannabinoids. In combination, these chemicals produce sensations of joy, happiness, elation, exuberance, and relaxation, plus they can also dampen your body’s perception of pain too.
The long story made short is that exercise like swimming can help to relieve the effects of anxiety, help to reduce the symptoms of depression, and go a long way in killing stress too, all things which will turn you into a much happier person.
If you still don’t believe us about the many benefits of swimming, just go and try it. Jump in the pool, swim a few laps for 30 minutes, then tell us how you feel. We guarantee that both your mind and body will feel much better after just a few days of swimming. The benefits of swimming far outweigh any negative aspects that you could dream up in a futile effort to come up with excuses as to why you really shouldn’t swim. Seriously, go for it!
If you have any questions or comments about swimming, always feel free to let us know and we will address your concerns at the first opportunity we get!