Personally, I like swimming. It is relaxing…you could even call it fun. Lots of people have various reasons for engaging in the activity called swimming and it is also recommended as a form of exercise.
Swimming has many more benefits that those obvious advantages seen on the surface; its improvements to overall health go much deeper. So, let’s take a big breath, and get into the 10 benefits of swimming:
- SWIMMING INCREASES FLEXIBILITY – Swimming requires you to reach, stretch, twist, and pull your way through the water. Your ankles become fins and are stretched with each kick as you push off against the liquid pressure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still stretch on your own, but repetitive stretching found in your various strokes also helps with flexibility.
- SWIMMING LOWERS STRESS AND DEPRESSION – Remember when I said it was relaxing to swim?Well there is science to back that up. Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by helps you focus inward and drown out all other distractions. This lowers stress and depression naturally.
- SWIMMING MAY LENGTHEN YOUR LIFE – I get the fact that all workouts contribute their quota to longevity but studies show that swimming may be a better choice and can more effectively help with long life. This research I have to say was conducted in the United States as some other places (won’t mention names) are not great when it comes to research. A couple of thousands of men between the ages of 29-70 were studied over a period of 32 years. The results showed that those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers, or men who didn’t exercise.
- SWIMMING CAN MAKE YOU SMARTER – Research from Australia focused on kids who took swimming lessons compared to a control group of non-swimmers. The results showed that kids who regularly participated in swimming were able to master language development, fine motor skills, confidence, and physical development sooner than the control group.Swimming may also help with math skills, as swimmers regularly calculate the meters swum in sets or interval drills to put their adding and subtraction skills to work.
- SWIMMING IMPROVES MUSCLES DEFINITION – Swimmers gain muscle strength throughout the entire body. Where runners see muscle build in their legs, swimmers utilize more muscle groups to move through the water. While the legs kick, the arms pull. As the back reaches and rotates, the stomach tightens to power the legs and stabilize the core, making swimming one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body workout. Just look at Michel Phelps’ fit physique if you need inspiration!
The interesting thing is that we as humans are all born with the ability to survive in water and if we are introduced to swimming within the first six months of our life, we will master swimming and become one with it. Whatever the case though, it’s never too late to get the benefits of swimming as outlined in this article. Grab your swim trunks, be sure the lifeguard is on duty and dive in.