The Benefits of Swimming: 8 Perks
We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Are you looking for the coolest workout in town? What if you could burn calories and fat without even breaking a sweat? You can — when you involve a swimming pool.
This form of exercise has tons of health perks for people of all ages. Here are eight of the benefits of swimming for exercise and why you should get in your laps today.
1. It Supports Your Joints
Are you one of the many people who shy away from physical activity because of chronic pain? One reason many people avoid exercise occurs when conditions such as arthritis create problems with movement on land. Even low-impact activities like walking can seem unbearable when you are in the midst of a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) flare.
However, water’s buoyancy supports between 50% and 75% of your body weight when submerged up to your clavicle or collarbone. Without the excess pressure on your joints, you can move more freely. Even walking laps in the pool becomes far more comfortable. Swimming back and forth in your lane doesn’t create any impact at all.
2. It Keeps You Cool
Are you heat-sensitive? Exercise is vital to maintaining positive health if you have a heart condition. However, doing so in the summertime can cause this organ to beat faster and harder to keep your body cool. The increase in output leaves you at a higher risk of heatstroke or cardiovascular complications.
However, working out in the water presents little to no risk of overheating. The moisture keeps you comfortably cool, regulating your internal body temperature.
Sunlight reflected on the water can hurt your eyes. If you exercise in an outdoor pool, please ensure you wear sunglasses to protect your peepers.
Likewise, please don’t assume the part of you covered by water is safe from sunburn. Up to 40% of ultraviolet rays penetrate beneath the surface, leaving you red and at an elevated risk for skin cancer. The reflective surfaces surrounding the pool can magnify this effect. Please invest in quality waterproof sunscreen. You might also wear a hat to protect your scalp, particularly if your hair is thin and fine.
3. It Elevates Your Heart Rate
Swimming counts as a cardiovascular activity. You might not feel like you’re working all that hard since you don’t break a sweat. However, you still get this muscle pumping.
Cardiovascular activity helps to increase your heart’s pumping ability. When fit, this organ pumps more blood with every beat, decreasing your heart rate when at rest. The improved circulation can improve some of your other health symptoms. For example, it can ease the discomfort of feeling cold and numb in your extremities.
4. It Improves Your Coordination
Preventing accidents becomes more vital as you age. Over half of all injuries among seniors occur due to falls. Broken bones also take longer to heal as you get older, leaving you on the dreaded disabled list.
Swimming helps to improve your overall balance and coordination. While it won’t prevent all accidents, it can make you feel steadier on your feet and potentially prevent injury.
5. It Offers Natural Resistance
Working out in water also allows you to build strength. Water serves as a natural form of resistance. You can test this principle by taking a walk or even trying to jog in the pool. You won’t get very far — but you’ll feel your muscles working.
You can enhance the toning effects of aquatic workouts by adding weights. Foam versions designed for water use cost little. However, you can also DIY a pair using material from pool noodles you can pick up on the cheap at nearly any dollar store.
6. You Can Tone Every Muscle
Another one of the amazing benefits of swimming is it offers a full-body workout. Consider the crawl stroke, for example. You use your arms, your torso, your legs — everything gets involved.
Even treading water incorporates full-body movement. Playing sports like volleyball becomes more challenging when submerged because you have to propel your body against the weight of the water to leap up and spike the ball back to your opponents.
7. You Can Get All Three Fitness Components
Fitness consists of three principal components: strength, cardiovascular training and flexibility. Working out in a pool allows you to get all three.
If you want a unique new twist to your yoga program, why not try it on a paddleboard? You’ll work your core balance like never before, even when doing lying poses — keeping yourself centered and somewhat dry presents quite the challenge.
8. The Water Is Naturally Soothing
One of your biggest fitness challenges might entail busting through stress-related exhaustion to get to the gym. After a rough day at the office, the last thing you want to do is log miles on a treadmill.
However, water is naturally soothing. Studies even show that people who live by a water body are calmer and healthier than their land-dwelling counterparts. Submerge yourself and let the day’s stress wash away with the tide.
Reap the Benefits of Swimming
The benefits of swimming are impressive. Why not give this gentle yet effective exercise a try?