Swimming: The Real Benefits

If you question whether swimming is really good for you, there is of course a simple answer. Just watch a professional swimmer at the Olympics. Their toned, muscular bodies are both strong and flexible, they are powerful yet graceful, and they, for want of a better phrase, really are “beach body ready”.

In this article, we’ll look at the real benefits of swimming, and how spending time in one of the local swimming pools will truly benefit you. Though you may never attain the same goals as a professional athlete, you can definitely help yourself to improve. Swimming is a fantastic way of doing just that and here’s why

Location

Not of the local swimming pools, but of the exercise. Because you are training in water, your body is supported. The water also acts as a form of resistance meaning that for the same amount of workout time, you’ll burn more calories. So not only can you save time, you can save your joints and muscles too. You’ll also improve your overall heart health, lowering blood pressure and getting the muscles fully functioning.

For those with injuries, or conditions that usually prevent heavy exercise, such as osteoarthritis, the benefits of swimming are huge. Other exercise may be too painful, yet they can still benefit from being in their local swimming pools.

Whole Body

Do not be fooled by the added buoyancy though. Swimming is hard work and gives a great full body workout. If you vary the stroke, you can target the muscles in different ways too. Your movement in all directions is resisted by the added density of the water, meaning that more effort is required to move. This is achieved without adding more strain to the body because the water applies these pressures evenly across the body. So you probably will be thinking, I’m already exhausted and breathless after what may seem like very little effort. That’s because it’s hard work!

Breathing

When we run, or cycle fast, we tend to take shorter quicker breaths exhaling it all quickly. Swimming is different, as you take air in quickly but deeply, and thereafter let it slowly release. This type of breathing improves your respiratory muscles which is a bonus for athletes of any level.

Muscles

Of course we all have them, but just look at a professional swimmer and they “really” have them. More muscle groups are used in swimming than most other forms of exercise. You’ll hit your neck down to your toes, incorporating all the areas in between. Your core will constantly be engaged, with good form, and your upper body muscle groups will grow.

Being horizontal means that your back muscles benefit too – think of all of the time they spend working in the upright position, or seated position. Swimming strengthens the back for a better posture and overall body tone.

Benefits

So your body will benefit, but so will your mind. Swimming is calming. It improves both physical and mental fitness, it can be both enjoyable and hard work at the same time – which in other forms of exercise may simply not be possible.

You can enjoy a solo or group venture to the local swimming pools, but whichever way you approach it, time spent in the water is time well spent. It’s about time that you started to see the benefits for yourself.

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