It’s no secret that swimming is a great, healthy way to exercise. Here are just some of the reasons why.
Significantly Improves Cardiovascular System
Swimming at a moderate intensity is an aerobic exercise that can be performed for a prolonged period without rest. For this reason it can increase your energy and stamina, assist in controlling blood pressure, improve your blood lipid profile (cholesterol) and help you burn extra calories to lose weight. Swimming will also help to increase lung capacity and improve respiratory health through learning to control and relax your breathing.
Low Impact Full Body Exercise
Swimming recruits all of the body’s major muscle groups including the shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips, and glutes. Due to the buoyancy of the water, swimming can accommodate all body types and fitness levels. It is very low impact and therefore great for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, or weight limitations as the water cushions stiff joints or fragile bones that might otherwise be injured by the impact of land exercises.
Can Be Used For Lower Limb Rehabilitation
Due to being low impact, swimming can be a great alternative exercise for individuals with lower limb injuries as it will generally not place much stress on the injury. Toys such as Pull Buoys can also be used to restrict leg movement. In fact, it can even help you to continue building the muscles around the injury and help you to overcome it whilst undertaking rehabilitation.
Stress relief is gained through the focus and coordination of the breath required to swim certain strokes. This gives your mind a break while you swim – a great stress reliever.
Sports psychologist Julie Johnston has said of a recent Speedo survey, “The feeling of ‘freedom’ whilst in the water has long been one of the key appeals behind all forms of swimming, and the results of this survey offer a clear indication that swimming not only provides an effective physical workout, but can also actively improve mentality and self-perception, making it the ideal exercise for both body and mind (prnewswire.co.uk).”
By Ryan Bourke – Head Swim Coach, Tri-Alliance