You might be surprised at how long the list of benefits of swimming is. Moreover, the advantages of swimming as compared to other forms of exercise can be quite pronounced.
In fact, some sports scientists consider it the best overall form of exercise there is.
Therefore, if you’re tired of sweating it out in the gym. Or, alternatively, if you’re finding it too hot outside. Take a look at some of the unusual ways a visit to your pool can help you.
We think you might be surprised.
The Physical Benefits of Swimming
- Swimming is an aerobic activity. It relies on continuous, repetitive, low-to-medium intensity effort. As such, it is great for heart health. It’s good for strengthening the heart and making it more efficient at pumping.
- But, at the same time, it is great for improving muscle tone and strength. As the density of water is so much greater than air, it creates a natural resistance to motion. This resistance is key to building tone in the muscles.
- You can also improve your flexibility and mobility through swimming. Furthermore, it has the advantage of being a full body motion. This is more efficient than isolating individual body parts, and also means there is less chance of creating muscle imbalances.
- It is a relatively low-impact sport. This is because the water supports the body and therefore prevents the jarring of joints. This makes it great for rehabilitation. It’s ideal for recovering from activities that cause stiff muscles or joints.
The benefits of swimming for mental well being
The physical benefits of swimming are well documented. But it is only more recently that experts have started to assess the positive role it can play in mental health.
Swimming requires you to control and regulate your breathing. Conversely, uncontrolled or irregular breathing is often associated with anxiety. As such, time in the pool can not only be relaxing but can reduce some of the physiological aspects of anxiety.
At the same time, it’s a great activity for boosting endorphins. This means that your mood will be improved naturally as well.
And to help reinforce just how beneficial it can be, Swim England commissioned YouGov to do a poll a few months ago. Incredibly, over a million people reported that it helped them with their symptoms of depression.
A final word
Swimming is also a pastime that is suitable for all ages and all fitness levels. It doesn’t discriminate in the same way as for example, some team sports can do.
But a word of caution. If you do have particularly bad soft tissue problems in your joints, it is best to have these assessed first. The powerful leg flick in breaststroke, for example, may not be suitable for some hip or knee complaints.
If you would like to find out more about swimming can help you. Or if you need expert advice on dealing with current joint problems. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help.