Everyone has their favorite form of exercise. For some people, it’s the thing that they live for, and the can’t wait to get up in the morning and go for their next run, bike ride or lifting session. For others, it’s all they can do to find something they tolerate in order to keep fit.
But whether you love working out or you only do it because you have to, one of the best things for both fitness and fun is swimming.
There are lots of incredible health benefits to swimming, as well as doing other water-based exercises. If you’re looking for a workout that can improve your health in a gentle way and is tonnes of fun, here are some of the reasons you should choose to get down to your nearest pool.
Weight Loss and Management
Anyone who wants to lose weight or even just maintain their current weight should look at swimming as an option. It’s one of the best exercises for burning calories, even when compared to walking, cycling, and a slow jog. You can lose lots of calories doing water-based exercise. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming laps, a water aerobics or dance class or playing a water-based sport, such as water polo. The resistance of the water means you have to work harder to move, but the low impact nature protects your joints at the same time.
Healthier Cardiovascular System
Swimming is excellent for improving the health of your heart and your cardiovascular system. It helps to reduce your heart rate and improve your blood pressure and circulation. On top of that, it also helps to improve your breathing. People often use swimming and other workouts in swimming pools to help them recover and rehabilitate when they have suffered a heart attack or a stroke. Swimming is a gentle way to work on your cardiovascular fitness, and there are lots of other activities you can do too, including simply walking through the water.
Stronger, Toned Muscles
If you’re looking to improve your strength and tone your body, swimming is one of the best exercises you can choose. It won’t give you enormous, bulging muscles, but it will make you stronger. The resistance of the water means that exercising in it is like using weights – except that you don’t need any expensive equipment to do it.
Low Impact Exercise
Exercising in water is also low impact, because the water supports your weight. For this reason, many people use swimming pools for physiotherapy and other types of rehabilitation. In fact, you only have to bear about 10% of your weight in the pool, because the water does the rest.
It’s not just your physical health that swimming is good for. It helps to make you happier by releasing endorphins, like other forms of exercise. And it could also reduce your stress levels, improve your self-esteem and even help you to sleep better. So if being physically fitter isn’t enough for you, start swimming for your happiness and mental health.
Photo by Republic of Korea