Swimming is a popular activity throughout the world particularly in places with frequent warm weather like Arizona. It is a great activity because people from all backgrounds and of all ages can benefit from it even with varying levels of experience. It’s an inclusive form of exercise that almost anyone can do, and it doesn’t require as much equipment as other activities. There are also many other benefits to swimming some of which may not be obvious.
Swimming is a whole body workout. When you swim you use many different muscles whether you swim freestyle, backstroke, etc. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation in 2015 showed that swimming for “60 min every time for 3 times a week, for a total of 12 weeks” could decrease body fat and improve overall health.
Swimming is a cardio workout which is good for your heart. In the same 2015 study mentioned above, the researchers also found that total cholesterol levels were significantly decreased in women who participated in a swimming group.
Swimming is considered aerobic exercise but exercising in water can also provide resistance. This can help build muscle and strength.
Swimming can help you build your endurance. When you swim your body learns to use its oxygen more efficiently, thus increasing how much you can do over time.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise. That means that it does not put as much stress on joints as other exercises. This makes swimming an ideal exercise for older individuals who have medical conditions that limit them from most weight-bearing exercises. While swimming does help the older population stay physically fit, it can also contribute to improved mental health.
Swimming is fun and can be done with or without others. It can be a social sport if you are on a team or work with a coach. If you have a pool at your home swimming can be done while socializing with family and friends.
Swimming can also be calming and allow you to clear your mind.
Lee BA, Oh DJ. Effect of regular swimming exercise on the physical composition, strength, and blood lipid of middle-aged women. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 2015;11(5):266-271. Published 2015 Oct 30.
By Raylina Morris and Alee Vladyka