What Do You Get Out of Swimming?

When swimming, simply getting in the water can begin to burn calories.  While that’s one of the immediate benefits, here are some longer lasting benefits to consider. Regardless of your age or experience swimming is a fun and efficient way to stay healthy. Here are 5 health and fitness benefits that should convince you to jump into the pool.

Swimming has a number of benefits; increased muscular strength, stronger immune system, and overall increased health and fitness. Not only that, but swimming is also a wonderful way to relieve stress. Swimming helps to release muscle tension, manage stress levels and increase energy levels. On top of all this, one of the best things about swimming as a pastime is that it can be as casual or serious as you like. So whether you’re enjoying a relaxing day at the pool with friends, or swimming timed laps alone, you can start enjoying the benefits of swimming today.

Low Impact Activity

Swimming is unique in that it offers a workout that does not cause high impact to your bones, muscles, and joints. When swimming the buoyancy of the human body in water decreases the weight and stress you experience. When swimming you can relieve up to 90% of the weight on your body. This makes swimming ideal for muscle and joint recovery.

Increased Muscle Tone and Strength

How often do you see flabby aquatic animals or professional swimmers? Yeah, you don’t. Swimming is excellent at reducing unnecessary fat and increasing muscle tone and strength. In fact, it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise for accomplishing just that.

This is just simple physics. A runner only has to propel their body through the air. The muscles that accomplish this are limited. However, a swimmer, has to propel themselves through highly resistant water. This forces them to use far more muscles in propelling themselves. It also means that the entire exercise, for all the muscles involved, is a high resistance, low impact exercise. This is ideal for increasing tone and strength and burning away fat.

muscles and swim

Improved Flexibility

As we already pointed out, swimming doesn’t isolate muscles quite as much as other exercises. Many groups of muscles must work together to effectively move the body through water while swimming. This wide ranging motion means joints, ligaments, and muscles all stay flexible. Think about it. While you’re swimming your arms form large arcs, your hips rotate as you kick, and your spine is twisted from left to right along with your head. On top of all this, every stroke forward causes you to elongate your body. This not only makes you a more effective swimmer, it also causes your body to stretch in a healthy and safe way.

Weight Control

Swimming is recognized as one of the biggest calorie burners around, and it’s great for keeping weight under control.

The exact number of calories you burn, of course, depends on your own physiology and the intensity with which you exercise, but as a general rule, for every 10 minutes of swimming:

  • Breast stroke will burn 60 calories
  • Backstroke torches 80 calories
  • Freestyle lights up 100 calories
  • Butterfly stroke incinerates an impressive 150 calories

To boost the calorie-burning component of swimming, consider using intervals in which you work your hardest for short bursts and then recover.

Healthy heart

Healthier Heart

As an aerobic exercise, swimming strengthens your heart. This not only causes your heart to increase in size, but it improves its efficiency at pumping blood. This improves blood flow, blood pressure, and the all-important oxygenation of your muscles and brain.

Weight Loss

Swimming is simply one of the best calorie burning exercises. Because it’s so easy on your body to go swimming, and it so effectively burns calories, swimming is also one of the best ways to control your weight. Of course everyone is different and will burn calories at different rates, but the following rates of calories burned are a pretty good rule of thumb. Depending on the swim style every 10 minutes you burn:

Breast stroke: 60 calories

Backstroke: 80 calories

Freestyle: 100 calories

Butterfly stroke: 150 calories

Just like any good exercise routine, in order to increase your calorie burning potential while swimming try performing intervals of high intensity swimming followed by lower intensity recovery.

Swimming Can Make You Smarter

You might be incredulous about this one, but wait until you hear the evidence? An Australian study kids taking swimming lessons found that, compared to a control group, kids who were regular swimmers developed their mastery of language, visual-motor skills and level of confidence earlier. Also, unsurprisingly, they demonstrated improvements in physical development sooner than the control group of non-swimmers. It has been suggested that swimming might also improve math skills. This is because swimmers have to rapidly calculate the distance swam in sets or drills; putting their adding and subtraction skills to the test.

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