No matter your age, weight, or fitness level – everybody can enjoy swimming. Whether it’s just getting in the pool and having a bit of a splash around with your mates (having a waterslide or two in the mix makes it even better) or doing your daily lengths, getting in the pool has been proven to have major health benefits. So take a deep breath, and dive in to read the benefits of swimming.
It burns a huge amount of calories
Many people choose swimming over cardio or going on the treadmill because for starters – you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty, as you’re already pretty wet. But they also choose swimming because of it can often burn more calories than a session in the gym. For example, if you swim ten minutes with the backstroke, you burn 80 calories. With the breaststroke, you burn 60 calories. With freestyle, you burn 100 calories. And with the butterfly stroke, you burn 150 calories in ten minutes.
It works your whole body
One of the main benefits of swimming is that it uses, defines and tones your whole body. Whereas runners only use their legs and therefore tone and build their legs, swimming uses your legs, arms, abs and your whole body (which is why we ache so much the next day). When you swim, your arms pull and your legs kick, which means an all-round workout. Win-win!
Swimming combats depression
Have you ever been swimming and realized how relaxed and calm you are? The mixture of rhythmic breathing, the sound of the water in your ears, and the release of endorphins allows swimmers to feel both relaxed and happy at the same time. And research has even suggested that it can reduce stress and depression. So if you feel like you’re drowning in your emotions, jumping into the pool could do you a world of good.
It can increase your life expectancy
It’s a well-known fact that doing any kind of exercise in general will increase your life expectancy, but scientists have found that swimming is one of the best and most efficient ways to do so. It’s been reported that men who swim have a 50% lower death rate than those who do another exercise, or don’t do any at all.
Swimming supports your body
If you have previously been a very energetic person but have been forced to rest because of an injury, swimming could be your new go-to sport. When you are in the water, it supports nearly 90% of your body weight, meaning it puts less pressure on a sprained ankle or a torn ligament, etc. It’s a great way to stay active when you can’t put weight on certain limbs.
Lowers the risk of heart disease
It’s important to note that any form of exercise will lower the risk of heart disease, but swimming is particularly effective in this, as well as lowering the risk of a stroke and type 2 Diabetes – all just from swimming 30 minutes a week.