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9 Health Benefits of Swimming
The sport of swimming uses the muscles to propel through the water delivering numerous health benefits. Some important advantages are weight loss and reduced stress, body flexibility, and complete exercise. Regular swimmers can look forward to living longer with increased muscle strength and resistance to diseases like asthma. Burning far more calories than walking and running, swimming is an ideal exercise. Affordable, requiring no costly equipment, swimming suits every pocket. Suitable for any age group from kids to the elderly, swimming may carry a few risks of drowning like in seawater with strong currents. An interesting fun activity indoors and outdoors of splashing about in the cool and refreshing water, swimming boosts the mood and releases endorphins.
1. Aerobic Effects, no Harm to Joints
The water resistance is 12 times that of air. Besides, vigorous swimming does not impact the joints. Arthritis patients need not fear further harm to the joints. Those who suffer from joint pain in the knees, hips, and ankles can swim with ease. Being in the water reduces the wear and tear on the joints on land. Compared to running, swimming burns similar or more calories.
Body shape transforms elegantly with regular swimming. The thin, fit, extended, and broad shoulders of a swimmer’s body are very attractive. The muscles get strengthened across the entire body that appears toned and flexible. The twisting and stretching during swimming increase physical flexibility.
2. Swimming Promotes cardio-respiratory Efficiency
The research studied inactive middle-aged persons of both sexes during swimming training over 3 months. The results showed that oxygen consumption increased by 10%. Heart strength increased by as much as 18% which results in greater endurance. Stroke volume is the blood pumped with each heartbeat. Hypertension and blood pressure problems decrease with regular swimming, research concludes. Cardiovascular health gets a fillip.
3. Better Management of Asthmatic Conditions
Swimming improves lung capacity which is a great advantage for asthmatics. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also helped. Lung conditions improve remarkably. Research reveals that the lungs benefit immensely from swimming and are strengthened. If exercising amidst pollen or dry air provokes asthma, the moisture in swimming gets rid of the problem. Compared to land conditions, the water is warm and humid besides being quite free from allergy-causing dust and pollen.
Swimming exercises the muscles for respiration. The result is higher lung volume and improvements in breathing style. It is safe to talk it over with a doctor.
4. Long-term Benefits
Along with the short-term benefits like euphoria and the fun element, swimming can benefit in the long run. Mental health certainly gets a boost with greater focus and cognitive power as an antidote to aging and declining intellectual powers. Moods certainly improve for both men and women and a state of happiness is the priority for health improvements. Anxiety decreases in fibromyalgia sufferers. A decrease in depression results from therapy in controlled temperature. Blue soothes the mind. Feel-good hormones are released. Swimming encourages socializing too.
5. Relief from Depression
An essentially fun activity, swimming generates euphoric feelings. Reducing depression, and swimming increases self-esteem and reduces cognitive decline and dementia. A swimmer sleeps better as a result of the positive impact on mental health. Medications are not needed to gain relief from stress. Go for a swim. The relaxed feeling and the release of endorphins bring soothing sensations similar to exercises like yoga.
The buoyancy experienced in the water, even knee-deep, leads to a sensation of immersive calmness. Preferably outdoors and amidst natural water bodies, it does remind of the sun and sand at the beach. Break away from artificial swimming pool surroundings for a change. Make a regular habit of swimming and depression is kept in check. The serene state of fluid well-being in the water can hardly be compared to any other sensation. Watch out for security issues though and take safety measures, especially for kids.
6. Sleep Better
Comparing those who exercise and who do not, the quality of sleep depends upon the extent of activity, light, moderate or vigorous. Breaking away from passive lifestyles and getting exercise boosts metabolism and promotes better sleep. That approach refers to any form of exercise and swimming ranks among the best. Regular participation is crucial. The internal body clock and natural circadian rhythm are restored through active exercise. According to expert analysis, swimming is a vigorous aerobic exercise. Restorative deep sleep results from swimming activity. Insomniacs are rather common due to stressful or sedentary lifestyles and they need to take to regular swimming even if for brief periods. Activities are best begun small with a gradual lengthening of durations.
7. Treat the Skin
Ocean swims are comparatively rare in comparison to swimming pools and natural water bodies inland. The ocean seems inaccessible for most and full of real and imagined dangers too. Strong ocean currents may result in untoward incidents. Saltwater promotes skin health in several ways like exfoliation when dead cells are removed and pores open. The skin feels soft and bright as a result. Salt, being anti-bacterial, has a detoxifying action on the skin. Moisture and cell growth receive a boost. Saltwater contains minerals. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are valuable mineral contents. Going into the deep sea, skin problems like eczema and psoriasis find relief.
8. Promote Bone Health and Relieve Pain
Aquatic activities certainly alleviate musculoskeletal problems and ensure robust physical activity. Unlike land and air exposure, the water offers resistance but does not strain the joints. Arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferers are faced with restrictions in movements and need to live with pain, sometimes chronic. Osteoarthritis patients found relief with a swimming program of 3 months with 45 minutes of swimming 3 times a week. As a result, muscle strength improved along with lesser joint pain.
Low bone mass afflicts many millions with the danger of osteoporosis. The result can be bone damage. Studies show that 3 to 6 hours of swimming a week improved bone density.
9. Alternative Exercise for the Injured
During swimming, the ground has no impact.
Among sportspersons, injury is frequent but they must maintain fitness levels. Swimming is recommended for rehabilitation. The muscles work hard without the strain experienced on the land. Without the ground impact, the joints do not suffer stress. Water aerobics has great advantages. There is almost no danger of injury in the water but safety equipment is important too.
Wouldn’t it be a mistake to enjoy swimming blindly without awareness of all the plus points? From increased longevity to heart health, and better sleep to increased cognitive powers, swimming brings diverse paybacks. Though almost every exercise brings ample benefits, swimming is better than most. Within reach of everybody and possible in all ages.
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