This blog is going to touch on the vast amount of health benefits that are associated with swimming. No matter what your fitness levels are, swimming has the ability to provide with training goals and personal development benefits that are ready for you to just go out and grab! In all, swimming can transform you into the cardio king, build that muscle you’ve always wanted and calm you quicker than boarding a plane to the Maldives! But how? Well lets dive right in (no pun intended) with our top benefits for swimming.
Full Body Workout
One of the foremost benefits of swimming, is that it is a full body workout, from head-to-toe. It doesn’t even matter what stroke you are using, as the water provides a constant gentle resistance for all your major muscle groups. This means that 30 minutes of swimming translates to 45 minutes of exercise on land - a cheat code to exercising if you ask me!
…Including Your Insides Too
Whilst your muscles are exerting all their energy to push you through the water, your cardiovascular system is also having a workout, as you need to sustain mechanical swimming movements over a lengthy period of time. This in turn helps your heart and lungs adapt and grow stronger. In fact, breathing techniques that are associated with swimming can help asthmatics expand their lung capacity and gain control over their breathing.
"Swimming just 30 minutes a week can help guard against heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes."
Studies have also shown that swimming can help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar levels, and swimming just 30 minutes a week (yes that little!) can help guard against heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s VERY Low Impact
One of the most unique and beneficial aspects of swimming, is that it is very low impact. This is due to water supporting up to 90% of your body weight, making it a perfect active recovery exercise for individuals with injury’s such as arthritis and sprains and for disabilities or other high-impact related issues. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferers have also found swimming to be beneficial, as the water makes the limbs buoyant, which gives them the right support to exercise effectively.
Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. A gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour, more than double that of walking. To put it in numbers, a 70kg person burns approximately 423 calories/hr while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories/hr swimming at a more vigorous pace.
Improvements in Sleep
If you combine a lot of the aspects above, you can see why swimming might help you sleep better (I bet you’re tired just reading about it!). Increased calorie loss, a demanding exercise that uses all major muscle groups, aerobic respiration, and water resistance are certain to make you feel physically tired. Studies have shown that it can reduce the negative impacts of insomnia, and also boost both sleep quality and length.
Boosts Mental Wellbeing
Just 30 minutes of swimming three times a week alongside a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy and maintain a positive mental outlook. Swimming regularly can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression and improve your sleep patterns. Feeling the mental benefits of swimming takes just a light swim. As well as possible biomechanical changes in the brain, swimming demands alternating stretch and relaxation of skeletal muscles alongside deep and controlled breathing, much like yoga - and we all know how boosting that is! Swimming has also been found to improve moods in dementia patients when they were enrolled onto a 12-week aquatic program in one study. Mental wellbeing is becoming an ever increasing important aspect of our daily lives, why would you not jump at the chance of boosting your own personal mental outlook.
Finally, swimming is one of the more affordable and accessible exercises out there, especially compared to activities such as cycling. Most pools offer small reasonable rates for you to join, and some public schools and centres may even offer free hours to the public. Our DuoSwim app also provides high quality workouts designed by Olympic standard coaches for less than a fitness class a week!
These are some of the main health benefits for swimming and if you’re asking me, they sound pretty good! No matter what your training goals are, swimming has the ability to be adapted to meet your needs, whilst also boosting your mental wellbeing and mood - so what are you waiting for?