When you move around in the water, you’re using almost two-thirds of the muscles in your body, making it a complete exercise. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at some of the health benefits of swimming.
Since swimming is an exercise that can be adapted in many different ways, it’s great for people who want to lose weight, improve their resistance, get toned, overcome injuries, or rehabilitate after accidents. Keep reading to learn some of the benefits of this full-body exercise.
Health Benefits of Swimming
For those who don’t have any injuries and who aren’t disabled, swimming is great because you can change the intensity of the activity. That way, you won’t have to worry about fatigue or pushing yourself too hard. We recommend swimming 3 times a week for about 15-45 minutes each session. Let’s look at the health benefits of swimming.
1. Improves flexibility
By engaging most of the muscles in your upper and lower body, many of your joints will also be put to work. As a result, you’ll develop a greater range of motion while also strengthening your muscles. So, you’ll improve your flexibility and decrease your risk of injury (mainly in your back).
2. Burns calories
Swimming for 1 hour at a moderate pace can burn up to 500 calories. Therefore, it’s the ideal exercise for those with weight loss goals.
3. Increases lung capacity
Swimming improves your breathing mechanics which, in turn, improves your lung capacity. This will help your abdominal organs work better, regulate your blood pressure, and enhance oxygenation.
4. Releases stress: one of the health benefits of swimming
Getting into the pool and focusing all of your attention on your body movements and your breathing will help you feel more relaxed. One of the best health benefits of swimming is that it fights stress, depressive disorders, and anxiety attacks. In addition, when you exercise you release endorphins. Endorphins stimulate the areas of the brain that promote positive emotions.
5. Controls chronic diseases
Another one of the great health benefits of sleeping has to do with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and hypercholesterolemia. Aerobic exercises, like swimming, increase insulin sensitivity, improve the respiratory system, and regulate cholesterol levels.
6. Improves motor skills
Swimming has a positive effect on our coordination, balance, and reaction time. Therefore, it improves our motor skills. This is especially important during the growth and development process.
Health benefits of swimming for those with injuries
Now that you know the general health benefits of swimming, we should note that it’s also one of the best exercises for people with injuries. That’s because it’s a low-impact activity that will help your joints and bones rehabilitate.
We recommend starting with analytical exercises underwater if you’re rehabilitating fractures, torn ligaments, and sprains. Then, you can work towards incorporating different swimming styles during the final phases of rehabilitation.
Swimming activities for injuries
Here are some swimming activities and underwater therapeutic options that will help you recover from an injury:
- Walking underwater: While it’s not exactly swimming, as you’ll be standing up, many physiotherapists recommend it for tendonitis and mobility recovery. The depth of the water you walk in will depend on the area of the injury.
- Analytical exercises underwater: These exercises target specific muscles to help with rehabilitation.
- Front crawl: Since this stroke doesn’t put much pressure on your spine, it’s great for low back pain and osteoarthritis. This stroke works your latissumus dorsi, pectoralis, deltoids, triceps, and biceps.
- Breaststroke: This stroke requires moderate intensity, so you should only use it during the final strengthening phase of the rehabilitation process for complex injuries. It mainly works the pectorals, biceps, triceps, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, teres major, trapezius, glutes, and quadriceps.
People who suffer from physical injuries should take certain precautions to avoid risks. Here are some recommendations:
- Ensure your injury is healing correctly before starting activities.
- Choose pools that have a ramp or stairs with handrails.
- Avoid an excessive increase in intensity when rehabilitating.
- Master the correct swimming technique so you can avoid other injuries.
- Stop exercising if your pain increases.
As you can see, there are so many health benefits of swimming. However, if you’re dealing with an injury, you should talk to a specialist before starting this activity. They’ll tell you the feasibility of doing the activity as well as the risks. Similarly, you should see a doctor if you have any condition that may limit fluid performance.