Swimming – a sport that can strengthen both your body and your mind

Swimming is a human activity that exists since ancient times. Even people who lived in the Stone Age have “recorded” this activity in the form of images in the caves where they lived. The first written record related to swimming is about 4.000 years old. Swimming is mentioned in Gilgamesh, The Iliad and The Odyssey and even in the Bible.

The first organized swimming competition was held in Europe in the beginning of the 19th century when the swimmers admeasured their forces in breaststroke swimming style. It is worth mentioning that swimming was one of the disciplines at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Swimming and health

If you have decided to do something good for your body and health in general, many experts will recommend swimming as the best option. Numerous studies have confirmed that swimming has positive effects on the lungs, heart and blood pressure, all connective tissues and muscle groups, cases of asthma and arthritis, overweight, tension and stress etc.

Of course, one of the greatest benefits of swimming is the positive effect on the heart and blood pressure. While swimming, the body uses all major muscle groups and vigorously activates the lungs and heart in a way that is much better than using some exercise device which typically focuses on one muscle group.

Swimming deepens breathing and thus increases lung capacity. Because of the strengthening of the lungs, swimming is highly recommended for people who are dealing with asthma. In addition, swimming can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer too. Unlike aerobics, weight training and running, when practicing swimming your body isn’t at risk of connective tissue related injuries. Many doctors recommend swimming as a treatment for one of the most difficult chronic diseases – ankylosing spondylitis – a form of arthritis which actually acts as a chronic spine inflammation.

It is worth mentioning that many professional athletes who are actively engaged in other sports practice swimming. Swimming is especially recommended to athletes who have suffered certain injuries that don’t allow them performing weight training.

Swimming and breathing

If you are new in this sport, it is very important to learn how to breathe properly while swimming. When you learn the breathing techniques you will be able to swim faster and the overall benefits of swimming will be improved. Focus on breathing and keep your mouth closed while swimming. Try to adjust your breathing with the movements you make. Keep in mind that breathing techniques depend on the style of swimming that you choose.

Swimming and losing weight