Swimming is one of the most enjoyable and widespread physical activities around the world. The world is mostly water and humankind’s fascination with the great blue has always drawn us towards it. And as a result, swimming is both a recreational activity and a competitive one. Perhaps the only kind of physical activity where you have complete control over three-dimensional movement, swimming is a world of freedom and very little stress. While it is generally well known that it is good for your health, Well sit back, relax and allow us to enlighten you about it.
Beneficial to Your Mental Health – Having a bad day? Jump into a swimming pool and see how quickly your mood takes a turn for the better. As many studies have concluded, exercise, in general, helps improve your mood but (and this just might be a subjective matter) we feel that nothing beats a good swim. Research in a small group of dementia suffering individuals has shown that regularly resulted in mood improvement of said individuals.
Aside from mood improvement whether you have dementia or not, according to a small research, swimming significantly lowers your stress levels and helps subside the feeling of depression. While further research is needed on the subject, we think it is safe to assume that is a powerful method for quick stress relief.
Possibly Helpful In Insomnia – Today’s fast-paced and hectic world with its endless trials and tribulations left you with one sleepless night too many? Try out swimming, which might help. Not completely unrelated to the previous point, there is a possibility that has a positive effect on insomniacs. Nearly 30% of the Indian adult population suffers from occasional insomnia; the percentage is much higher among the older adults. A study conducted in the US has linked improvement in life and sleep quality with aerobic exercises among older adults. And while other aerobic exercises like running come with the risk of injuries and are also high impact, causing excessive stress on your joints, Shares its benefits and none of the drawbacks.
Great Exercise – Mentioned previously, swimming is as beneficial an aerobic exercise as the next one yet carries less risks and is gentler on the body than most other of its ilk. If you would love to get those cardio gains but do not like to work up a sweat? Take a swim. We have, in a previous article discussed which might be the better exercise between cycling and running. Well it is the best of both worlds, it is as effective as running is for cardio fitness and as gentle as cycling is on your joints.
Swimming is also a good way to build up muscle tone and strength. It effectively is a full-body workout, working the muscles in your arms, legs, core, glutes and back. One needs to only look at the physique of any Olympian swimmer to get the general idea of how effective it is in building muscle.
Safe Exercise – whether you are injured, or suffer from illness such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, swimming will lead you to no harm. Due to its low-impact nature, swimming is a safe way to build muscle strength without the risk of worsening your condition.
According to a study, exercises like cycling and swimming helped significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis, even reducing physical limitations. Interestingly, there was little to no difference in the benefits between the two groups. Which means is just as effective as any frequently prescribed land-based physical exercises.
Water rehabilitation is sometimes used to treat muscle and joint injuries and not for no good reason. Water resistance makes it easy to move while reducing pain. As mentioned multiple times before, swimming has low impact and low stress on your body, which supports injured joints and muscles during recovery. Water pressure on injured area helps reduce swelling and improves motion.
Swimming Burns Calories, A Lot of Calories – Swimming burns almost as much or even more calories as running, all depending on what technique you use and your intensity. In fact, if you are getting up there in age, we would suggest as the better alternative due to its low impact nature.
Harmless During Pregnancy – Swimming is perhaps the safest physical exercise for pregnant women. While that in and of itself is great news, there is more. An animal study showed that a mother during pregnancy can potentially benefit brain development in the offspring. Furthermore, it may even protect babies from hypoxia-ischemia, a neurological condition in which blood flow to organs is insufficient to perform their intended function. That is coupled with lower-than-normal oxygen concentration in arterial blood. Further study is required on this matter though.
A separate study indicated that swimming in chlorinated pools during pregnancy did not result in any ill effects. Additionally, early to mid-pregnancy dropped the risk of preterm labor and congenital defects.
Although swimming is typically safe during pregnancy, some women may have activity restrictions due to complications in pregnancy. Consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise routine during pregnancy.
Risks – Swimming is about as safe as safe gets in workouts. But as with any other workouts, there are some possible risks. Do check with your doctor before if you have a prior injury or a medical condition.
If you go swimming during pregnancy, it is recommended to gently enter the water, by stepping or sliding. Avoid dives as quickly changing altitudes form bubbles inside your body that may potentially harm the baby.
If you have psoriasis or similar skin condition, chlorinated pool water might cause irritation. Once again, consult your doctor for guidance that is distinctive for your health
- If you are swimming in a location without lifeguards, bring a friend or an acquaintance in case of emergency.
- If you are new to it, take lessons and never go swimming without aids unless you are certain of your ability.
- While you are in the water, you may feel cool and not feel the need to drink water, but that is ill-advised. You can get dehydrated in the water without noticing it. So drink lots of water but steer clear of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
- Do warm-up your muscle and joints before entering the water
- Always supervise children near water and do not let a child swim without an adult