Swimming – Lots of Fun and Benefits

April 26, 2013 Sports

swimmingSwimming is one of the best ways to get fit, with a lot of health benefits and no contraindications. It can be practiced at any age and even by people with health problems. The only barrier that could stop you from swimming might be not having a pool nearby. Or the fact that it is more expensive than other sports which require almost no financial effort.

Robyn Stuhr, exercise physiologist and director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, interviewed by WebMD, says that “Swimming will increase your stamina, can help ward off diabetes and high blood pressure, and relieves stress”.

Main health benefits of swimming and water-based exercise

Swimming and water aerobic classes are recommended for people with chronic diseases, like arthritis and osteoarthritis, improving use of affected joints and decreasing pain. The resistance of the water protects the joints from getting hurt. That’s because it makes the muscles work hard without the stress and strain experienced on land. Is is also recommended for people with back problems.

Swimming improves endurance – The website Medicinenet quotes one study of sedentary middle-aged people, both men and women who improved maximal oxygen consumption 10% and the amount of blood bumped by the heart 18% after a twelve-week swim training.

Depending on how hard you swim, this activity burns about 500-650 calories per hour and builds muscle mass. Moreover, it tones the body and raises the muscular strength. According to Medicinenet, a study of men who undertook a eight-week swimming program showed that they increased their triceps muscle by 23.8%.

Swimming is also recommended for the mental health because it leads to the release of endorphins, also called the happiness hormones, which neutralize depressive feelings and induce relaxation. Especially body workout in warm water can decrease depression. Moreover, according to the same source, parents of children who have developmental disabilities consider swimming beneficial for strengthening their family connections.

According to MensXP, swimming improves flexibility, posture and body balance – As we grow old our flexibility declines. When we swim, the body muscles are forced to work together and the muscle fibers and ligaments are stretched, thus realigning the body and providing us with a better posture.

By engaging almost every muscle in the body, swimming improves blood circulation. It also destroys the layers of cholesterol and toxins accumulated in the blood vessels.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise, reducing the blood pressure and strengthening the heart. Swimming can help people lose weight, control their weight and tone their body. The only condition is to swim at least three times per week for at least half an hour.

No doubt its many benefits makes swimming worth trying. All you have to do is make sure you choose a safe pool. Thus, you avoid getting any disease caused by the poor water cleaning. Last, but not least, just enjoy swimming because, on top of everything, it’s also lots of fun!