Health benefits of swimming

There are a number of health benefits of swimming. It’s one of the best forms of all-round exercise, and it can be surprisingly easy to get started with. All you need is a swimsuit and perhaps some goggles. Head down to your nearest pool and reap the health benefits, inside and out, of moving in the water.

Swimming for the vast majority of people is a healthy way to exercise, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing so safely. If you can’t swim, it’s never too late to learn. Most pools offer lessons for a range of ages and abilities, as well as refresher sessions if you haven’t been in a while. Once you’re feeling confident in the water, there are so many opportunities to get fit and help your body feel strong.

The health benefits of swimming

Work your whole body

Swimming is one of the best activities for keeping your whole body toned and trim. It’s not just your arms and legs that get a workout, swimming engages your core and strengthens your back as you propel forward. Breaststroke is also great for your shoulders and chest, while backstroke works your quads and tones your thighs.

The inside of your body gets going too when you swim. Raising your pulse will strengthen your heart, and it will empower your lungs too. Studies show that swimming regularly can even cut your risk of death significantly, compared to those who are inactive.

Swim to burn fat

Swimming can burn almost as many calories as running, meaning it’s a great option for maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re looking to tone up and slim down, swimming is a fun way of exercising. It burns far more calories than other low impact forms of exercise such as yoga. Just half an hour’s swimming can burn hundreds of calories, keeping your mind and body alert and stimulated while toning your muscles.

Enjoy low-impact exercise

One of the health benefits of swimming compared to other forms of exercise is how low impact it is. Unlike running and sports, there’s virtually no impact or strain on joints while you swim. For those with conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis that weaken joints, swimming is perfect, as it offers resistance without strain to help you build up strength. The density of the water strengthens muscles and joints, while the buoyancy supports your body, making sure there aren’t sudden impacts and injuries.

It’s a great exercise for keeping your joints safe while giving your body a vigorous workout. Water is much more dense than air, so offers more resistance while offering support that protects your body.

Swimming boosts your mood

Studies show that regular swimmers find the activity relieves tension and helps them feel better about themselves. Like all cardio exercise, swimming releases endorphins which make us happier. Being immersed in water has the added benefit of boosting blood flow to the brain. Swimmers report lower levels of anxiety and depression due to these happiness hormones and good circulation.

Swimming can also be a great group activity, bringing you together with like-minded people to share ideas as well as enjoy a new sport together.

It can help you sleep better 

Like all exercise, swimming can help your body feel tired and help you drift off in the evening. Using your whole body to raise your heart rate and burn calories will mean you can rest easy at the end of the day. By calming your mind and tiring your body, swimming can make you feel happier and more relaxed. The rhythms of swimming also mimic the stretching and breathing techniques of yoga, which aid sleep and can make you feel more refreshed.

Swimming during coronavirus

Swimming pools and leisure centres are gradually reopening with social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning in place. But if you are concerned about attending larger leisure centres you could always try hiring a whole pool for you to enjoy with family and friends. Often these are privately owned swimming pools in a family house, rented out by the hour to help with maintenance costs. The website Mypoolswim lists a number of pools across the country, or a Google search for private pools in your area may turn up somewhere closer to home. They cost between £25-£50 per hour, which could prove cost effective, depending on how many are in your group.

So grab your goggles and head for the water to exercise your body and mind!