There’s a reason why experts have dubbed swimming as the perfect exercise.
It’s a low-impact exercise that won’t hurt anybody’s joints—even for the elderly—and it burns as much calories as one would when running. On top of that, it’s one of the exercises that you can do in water, something a lot of people prefer these days.
For some, it’s just a hobby that they remember when it’s summer or when the family decides to go on a trip. Sure, the occasional dip in the pool or the beach can be beneficial—and might even give you a nice tan.
But what if you take it seriously and go for a regular swim? What are the benefits that come with this hobby-turned-habit?
Well, we’ve compiled all the undeniable benefits of swimming that should convince you to go for that regular swim.
Works Out the Whole Body
Why create a set of exercises when you can just work all of the relevant body parts in one go?
The best benefit you get from swimming is that it’s an all-in-one workout! Not only is this exercise low-impact, but it’s also a great whole body workout without all the equipment from the gym.
If you’ve seen a professional swimmer in person—or in photos—you’d see how defined and toned their bodies are. That’s because swimming requires you to use a lot of muscle groups for you to move across the water.
As your legs kick and push, your arms push you forward. The power given to your legs are taken from your core tightening and stabilizing, the strength your arms get are from your back reaching and rotating.
What’s even more fascinating is that you won’t feel as much pain as you normally would during intensive workouts at the gym.
Strengthens Your Cardiovascular System
Meaning, as you swim regularly, your heart and lungs become stronger.
For those of you who have asthma, this is also one of the most recommended workouts to help you alleviate this condition. The findings of a study done on children with asthma have shown that it was effective in reducing the severity of asthma symptoms in children.
Don’t worry if you don’t have asthma, because it’s also a great workout for you, too! Overall lung-volume and breathing have also been seen to improve in children and adults who swim on a regular basis.
For a more convincing reason, regular swimmers actually have about half the risk of death compared to inactive, non-swimmers. Blood pressure and sugar levels were lowered significantly by swimmers who maintain this habit.
Reduces Stress Levels and Risk of Depression
If runners have their runner’s high, swimmers also have their own kind of swimming-induced endorphins.
Compared to other workouts, swimming can require a huge amount of focus that helps you zone out and focus on the main tasks—moving forward and staying afloat in the water.
By focusing on your breathing, you also manage to have your own meditation session that will basically calm you down and significantly reduce stress levels. You may not hear your own breathing, but the amount of energy you exert acts as a way to help you focus.
Patients who have suffered from stress-induced brain damage have also reversed these damages through swimming. The process is called the hippocampal neurogenesis and swimming is one of the exercises that mainly catalyze this reversal.
Helps with Sleep
A lot of people struggle with sleeping at night—you might be one of them.
In line with the previous section, with better stress levels and lower risks of depression, you can actually get better sleep once you engage in that regular trip to the pool—or the beach.
A study done on adults who suffer with insomnia have exciting findings; almost 50% of the adults in the study have reported to have better quality of sleep and life after engaging in exercises such as swimming.
Whether it’s the problems that keep you up or the anxiety that won’t just let your mind go to sleep, swimming is one way to help you sleep better.
Great for the Injured, the Differently-Abled, and the Expecting Moms
We’ve been arguing that this really is one of the best exercises, but is it really for everyone? Of course it is.
It’s not just for the abled, but also for people who are currently injured, who have different abilities, or mothers who have a baby on the way. Swimming doesn’t discriminate which is why it is indeed one of the best exercises out there.
For as long as a person knows how to swim and can manage to stay afloat when in water, there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t swim.
It doesn’t matter if you swim like the next Olympic champion or if you swim like you’re new to the water, just get a few strokes in or at least 30 minutes for each day and you’ll see all these benefits we’ve talked about.