We’re always looking for new ways to keep fit and look great and although swimming is one of the best ways to do just this, it’s one of the most over-looked forms of exercise.
Although drinking cocktails in a pool in the Caribbean is unlikely to do much for our physical health, regular swimming sessions where you’re exerting yourself can improve your heart rate, blood flow and help to maintain a healthy weight. If that’s not enough to encourage you, below are four other fantastic health benefits of swimming.
It’s great for toning
One of the most common reasons why people hit the gym is because they want to tone up. Whilst people will happily spend hours on end lifting weights or sweating through a cardio session, few are aware that swimming is a far more effective way of toning your muscles.
Water is 12 times denser than air which means that when you go for a swim, you get the cardio part of your workout while also toning your body thanks to the resistance. An added benefit is that because your whole body is submerged in water, you can guarantee an even workout and don’t have to worry about counting repetitions like you do when lifting weights.
It’s easier on the lungs
Naturally, there is a lot more moisture present in the air at a swimming pool compared to a gym for example. This moisture actually makes it much easier to breath which is ideal for those who suffer from asthma or find cardio at the gym or outside too hard on their lungs.
Studies have in fact found that swimming can vastly improve symptoms amongst asthma sufferers – even for a whole year after they stop the exercise. It’s not just those who have asthma who can benefit however, swimming can also help to increase your lung capacity and force you to adopt better breathing techniques which is very helpful when it comes to running or lifting weights.
It’s low impact
We all know that a good cardio session is great for our bodies and minds but unfortunately, exercises such as running can be really hard on our joints. Whether you’re currently suffering from an injury, have a lot of weight to lose so need a form of exercise that isn’t going to put too much pressure on your joints or you simply prefer something low impact, swimming is ideal.
Swimming is one of the few sports that doesn’t cause any stress to the skeletal system because all of your motions are cushioned by the protective barrier of the water. What’s more, when you swim in a heated pool the heat helps to loosen joints and muscles which once again, helps to prevent injuries from occurring.
When we work out at the gym we tend to use machines that isolate certain parts of the body. Swimming on the other hand, allows you to use a lot of muscles at the same time, many of which are missed in basic exercises. It’s also a really great way of elongating and stretching out your whole body which is great news if yoga isn’t quite your thing.