Swimming isn’t just a recreational activity that most of us enjoy; splashing around in the water is also great for keeping fit and boasts numerous health benefits. What’s more, research shows that swimming also improves mental health and well-being, so is great for both mind and body.
Not many people understand the full range of benefits that swimming regularly offers, and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of some benefits of swimming you probably didn’t know.
1. Lifelong Fitness
Swimming is a great fitness activity for persons of all ages, unlike other exercises that may be challenging to young children and the elderly. Kids can learn to swim from a very young age, and swimming pools often have designated areas for children and people who prefer to swim slowly.
Swimming is low-impact and non-weight-bearing, which is ideal for aging joints, increasing flexibility, and improving the stability of the elderly.
2. Cardiovascular Fitness
Swimming will get your heart and lungs working at their optimum, thus training the body to use more oxygen more efficiently. Your blood circulation improves, and this helps the muscles receive sufficient oxygen during exercises.
3. Swimming Helps With Asthma
Did you know swimming is recommended for people with asthma and that some of the most successful Olympic swimmers were once asthmatics? Holding your breath and rhythmic breathing exercises while swimming increases lung capacity and helps asthmatic people have more control over their breathing. The humid atmosphere in indoor swimming pools also provides an excellent environment for people with asthma.
4. Safe During Pregnancy
Swimming is safe during pregnancy, and expectant mothers and their babies can also reap the benefits of swimming without any risks. However, it’s important to note that pregnancies are different, and Northwest Regional Health has excellent staff on hand to provide expert advice to those expectant mothers about to take the plunge.
The low-impact nature of swimming and floating in the water is a great exercise to help take the pressure off the joints and improve flexibility. Swimming can also prevent joint and muscle pain caused by rapid body changes and increases in weight during pregnancy.
5. Great for People With Injuries or Disabilities.
Swimming is excellent for people with disabilities because the water creates resistance which helps build and strengthen muscles, and buoyancy reduces body weight by 80%, thus enabling movement that would have otherwise been difficult for people with disabilities.
Doctors recommend swimming for people recovering from injuries because it is a low-intensity exercise that won’t strain or sprain the affected muscle or ligaments. Swimming also helps strengthen muscles and ligaments, which is excellent for rehabilitation.