When scouring around for some form of low-impact exercise to get yourself, and your body, into a fitter frame; there are few better methods than taking up swimming. Discussed, below, are the numerous ways in which swimming can immediately start to change your life for the better, so dive in!
1) It’s a softer form of exercise than others
Due to the effects of submergence, when the human body floats in water, it automatically becomes much lighter than it would on dry land. This means that a lot of that pressure is taken off of your bones and joints, allowing you much more freedom to exercise (especially good for those suffering from arthritis or heavy weight!) (HowStuffWorks.com).
2) It’s a certified stress reliever!
A study of 4,000 swimmers, carried out by Speedo, found that swimming is regarded as an excellent method of ‘winding down’, and relaxing. Nearly 75% of those asked agreed that the exercise helped to alleviate stress and tension, whilst close to 70% stated that merely being in the water alone allowed them to feel mentally refreshed! (TescoLiving.com).
3) It works the whole body
Due to the nature of swimming, where you’re propelling your whole body forward, nearly all of your muscles are called into action at some point or other, which means you’re really giving yourself a full-body workout (BetterHealth.gov.au).
4) Regular swimming can improve flexibility
Because you’re not focusing on one particular area of the body at a time, the exercise of the muscles is much less limited. With all of the wide arcs, long stretches and different twists you carry out whilst undergoing a simple breast stroke (not to mention some other strokes), you’re limbering up a large range of different joints and muscles, which can have some long term improvements in overall flexibility (HowStuffWorks.com).
5) Sleep patterns and consistency can get better
Many studies into exercise and their effects, over the years, have shown a correlation between working out and a subsequent good night’s sleep. However, because swimming is so low-impact and generally perceived to be quite relaxing (even though you’re giving yourself a pretty solid workout!), you’re more likely to experience a long and trouble-free night of sleep afterward (TescoLiving.com).
The above advantages of swimming are but a handful of the overall benefits you can expect to see from taking it up as a hobby, or attending swimming classes to improve your form and technique – so consider it for yourself, and your health, today!
HowStuffWorks.com. 10 Health Benefits of Swimming. Available: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/retirement/10-health-benefits-of-swimming.htm#page=1 [accessed January 14th, 2015].
TescoLiving.com. Top 10 Health Benefits of Swimming. Available: http://www.tescoliving.com/health-and-wellbeing/fitness/2013/november/10-benefits-of-swimming
BetterHealth.gov.au. Swimming – Health Benefits. Available: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Swimming?open