8 Health Benefits of Swimming
People of all ages can try swimming and get benefits out of it. It is one of the few exercises in which children from very young to older people of age 90 and beyond can do.
The benefits of swimming contribute to both your physical and mental health. A single hour of swimming can burn an equal number of calories than jogging. Also, this activity does not affect your bones and muscles. This exercise offers a therapeutic effect on your body. Here we will dig deep to find out how healthy swimming is.
What Are the Top Health Benefits of Swimming?
Here are the top health benefits of swimming. Swimming helps both physically and mentally. We have categorised them accordingly. Please check the same below.
Benefits of Swimming for Physical Health
1. Impacts Your Entire Body
One of the top benefits of swimming is that it affects your entire body from head to toe. This exercise helps in improving the following –
- Improves heart rate without putting stress on body
- Develops endurance
- Builds strength
- Tones body muscles
Breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke, butterfly and freestyle contribute to the above benefits if you do them regularly. Each of these actions works on various muscle groups. Hence, your entire body muscles come into play. Most importantly, water provides gentle resistance only, which does not hurt your muscles.
2. Good for People With Injuries, Arthritis and Any Other Conditions
People with injuries, arthritis or any other disability find swimming extremely useful. High intensity and gym workouts are not suitable in such cases. Hence, swimming is the best alternative in such a case providing similar benefits.
One of the major benefits of swimming is that it even helps reduce some of such pains and help recover from any specific injury. As per a study, people suffering from osteoarthritis reported having reduced joint pains to a great extent. Such people are known to experience lesser physical limitations after engaging in activities like swimming.
3. Best for Burning Calories
Swimming is the best calorie-buster. It is found that a person of 160 pounds can burn around 423 calories in an hour while swimming at a moderate pace. The same person can burn nearly 715 calories at the same time and at the same pace.
If you compare the effectiveness of swimming with exercises like walking and yoga, there is a stark difference in the number of calories burnt. By walking at 3.5 miles an hour, the same 160 pound person can burn 314 calories.
Similarly, after doing yoga for an hour, you can burn only 183 calories. With an elliptical trainer, it is possible to burn just 365 calories in an hour.
Benefits of Swimming for Mental Health
Mentioned are some of the mental health benefits of swimming.
4. Relieves stress
A survey was done by researchers on a group of swimmers immediately before and after swimming at a New Taipei City of Taiwan. This is done to measure how beneficial swimming is in managing stress.
The results of the survey were quite interesting. Out of the 101 people surveyed, 44 reported mild depression and feelings of stress due to a fast-paced life. However, after swimming, the number of people feeling stressed decreased to just 8.
While more research work needs to be done in this direction, swimming does have the potential to revitalize your mind. Like all exercises, swimming releases endorphins in your brain. These are those hormones that make you feel good and positive. Thus, swimming is bound to reduce stress.
5. Improves sleep
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is one of the major reasons for anxiety. Swimming can improve sleeping disorders as well. A study shows that older adults with insomnia experienced a boost in quality sleep and life after aerobic exercises like swimming.
Swimming is a much safer way to stay fit compared to other outdoor exercises. People often get injured while jogging or working out at the gym. That can make swimming a good choice to get rid of sleeping disorders like insomnia.
6. Builds a good mood
7. Beneficial for Pregnant Women
Swimming is beneficial for pregnant women and their babies as well. Another study shows no adverse health effects on pregnant women while swimming in chlorinated pools. In fact, pregnant women who did swim regularly during their early to mid-pregnancy period faced a much lesser risk of congenital issues and preterm labour.
8. Beneficial for Kids
It is necessary for kids to do at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. However, swimming is simply fun for kids. Kids may not feel this to be a workout. Swimming offers a range of benefits to children. They are as follows:
- Teaches water safety
- Reduces sleep disorder (if any)
- Enhances memory and concentration
- Helps in digestion
- Good for cardiovascular health
- Builds confidence and character
- Improves digestion and many.
So, these are all the advantages of swimming as mentioned above. You can clearly see how swimming impacts our health in various ways. This activity re-energizes your complete health, both physical, mental and from inside as well. Thus it is a holistic way to develop good fitness and live longer, hale and hearty!