We all know exercise is good for us; but did you know that swimming works and tones almost every muscle in your body without putting stress on your joints? Better than a gym any day!
Here’s a rundown of some of the health benefits a regular swim can have for you:
Improves your mental and physical health
Swimming for 30 minutes three times a week reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 10 per cent, as well as raising the levels of good cholesterol, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease. As well as improving your cardiovascular health, the way your brain replaces cells that are lost through stress can be altered through regular swimming, so if you’ve been feeling a bit down lately, jump in your pool to improve your mood.
Stretches and strengthens the body
As you swim, with each stroke you are reaching out and therefore lengthening your body, stretching and toning most muscles from your top to your toe. Your arms and shoulders especially get a good workout, as they pull the rest of your body along, while the kicking action from your legs definitely still gives your leg muscles a bit of a work.
Anyone can do it!
Did you know that when you are up to your neck in water, you are only supporting 10 per cent of your total body weight? This means that swimming is very gentle on joints, and therefore is suitable for just about everyone, from the elderly, to the injured to the disabled. Exercise in water is a great way to ease yourself back into things after injury, and provides a safe environment for those with limited movement in their joints.
Low risk of injury
The fact that water supports most of your body weight means that a lot of stress is taken off your joints and body in general. This means you can achieve your fitness goals without risking serious injury. Swimming also does not need to be performed at a high speed to have a positive impact on your body, so this makes it perfect for those prone to injury or at risk of re-injuring themselves.
Keeps you young
Research conducted by the Indiana University Bloomington’s Counsilman Centre for the Science of Swimming has shown those who swim regularly delay the ageing of their body. The study found that the decline of age markers such as muscle mass, blood pressure and chemistry and pulmonary function were delayed for decades in those who swam four kilometres three or four times a week.
Builds endurance and fitness
As you swim, you are moving against the resistance of the water; this builds strength in all of your muscles and increases your level of endurance. This also gives you a great cardiovascular workout. In addition, swimming has been proven to improve coordination, balance, posture, flexibility and circulation.
Shrinks your waistline
Swimming is a fantastic exercise to incorporate into your regime, particularly if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It provides both a resistance and cardio workout at the same time, optimal for weight loss! You’ll be toned and ready for that bikini/speedo in no time at all.
So if you want to improve your health and wellbeing, just hop on into your pool and start swimming!
Other articles in this edition:
Bikini Still Number One