Three Health Benefits of SwimmingAugust 05, 2015
If you find yourself at a swimming pool, beach or lake this summer, take advantage and go for a swim. Swimming not only offers a method to cool off in warm weather, but it is also a great activity that can be done year round providing several health benefits. Susan Judge Burns, Nurse Practitioner at NEBH, outlines a few of the benefits.
Cardiovascular fitness, building muscle, strength and endurance
Swimming provides a complete body workout and combines cardiovascular fitness with building muscles. When you swim, all the major muscle groups are used, including hips, legs, abdominals, back and shoulders. Exercising in water provides resistance, similar to using a weight resistance machine at the gym. You can control the amount of resistance, as it is comparative to the force you are pushing the water with. This resistance builds strength and endurance for each move, kick, push and pull that is made.
A workout that is kind to joints or those with injuries
The buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight, providing a low impact workout that reduces stress on the joints. This makes swimming and aqua aerobics a great exercise for people suffering from arthritis, an injury, or those just beginning a workout program. If you are in a heated pool, the heat is an added benefit, relaxing muscles, increasing flexibility and enabling deeper stretching once out of the pool.
A relaxing form of exercise that can alleviate stress
Swimming can help provide mental calmness. Many people find the repetition of running or cycling on a stationary bike unappealing and stressful. Swimming can be a relaxing form of exercise, and release endorphins in the body, which can improve feelings of wellbeing.