Benefits of swimming

Benefits of swimming

I have a new hobby! My Bollywood dance lessons got cancelled because there weren’t enough participants so I had to find something else. And I decided to try swimming! I have no idea where that came from, but it’s great.

Right now I only go for a swim about once a week – in the morning before I go to work – but you know what? I love it. I absolutely love it. What a great way to start a day.

Swimming is not just fun and relaxing though, it’s really good for you as well. Read on to find more about the benefits of swimming.

Benefits of swimming

1. It is a great form of exercise

Swimming will give you both a cardio and strength training workout at the same time. It’s a whole body workout and you will even use smaller muscles that you might otherwise neglect.

What to pack for a swim
What to pack for a swim

2. Relaxation and stress relief

When I’m in a pool I can either just let my mind wander or focus on the water and how it feels on my skin. Sometimes there’s a hydrobics (=water aerobics) group nearby. The trainers play great music so it doesn’t bother me at all, quite the opposite actually: the catchy music gives a lot of energy and a rhythm for swimming.

I always take my time when I go swimming. I’m not in a hurry. After a swim I wash my hair, sit in the sauna and rather leisurely blow dry my hair and do my makeup. It leaves me feeling fresh and calm for the entire day.

3. Good for you if you are bloated or suffer from edema

Water gives your body great resistance, which makes it a really good form of exercise, but it will also help you if you’re bloated or suffer from edema (edema is swelling that is caused by excess fluid in the tissues).

4. Swimming is a safe form of exercise

Swimming is a very safe low impact exercise so you can do it even if you’re very overweight or injured. You will find it very difficult to strain your muscles when you’re swimming!

Usually when you exercise you have to take days off in order to let your body rest. Swimming is a bit different: You could go for a swim basically every day and not have to worry about injuries.

And you can swim at any age. That’s actually one of the things I really like about it. When I go for a swim in the morning there are obviously some young athletic people but even more elderly regulars who look really calm and happy to be there what seems to me every single time I go there. It makes me feel less self conscious about myself and they often have time to say hello and have a chat.

5. Do you have asthma? Swimming is very good for your lungs

I’ve had asthma for as long as I can remember and even as a child I was always told by my doctor to start swimming. Swimming improves lung function and cardiovascular fitness and the air you breath at indoor swimming pools is usually humid which makes it easier to breath.

6. It’s a great way to start exercising

You know the feeling: You should start exercising but you can’t really be bothered. It’s boring and it’s not fun. But swimming is fun! You can start small, you can do it in your own pace and you don’t have to get hot, breathless and miserable. And it’s still a proper workout.

7. There are plenty of things to do in the water

You don’t have to just swim laps. Try these:

  • Water running / aqua jogging (how to pool run)
  • Water aerobics or hydrobics (water workout ideas)
  • Other types of water workouts such as aqua zumba, aqua spinning or hydro boxing

8. You’ll become a better swimmer

Well, this seems like a no-brainer but I actually never thought about it when I started swimming 🙂 I’m not a great swimmer but I can already see I’m getting faster and more efficient with my technique even though I’m not really paying attention to it. If you want to get better at swimming, or learn to swim in the first place, there are plenty of online articles telling you how you’ll learn to swim. Enjoy Swimming has a great archive of such articles.

You can also take lessons to improve your swimming technique, check out some YouTube swimming videos or browse the internet for more swimming tips.

9. It will help you lose weight

As with any form of exercise, you will naturally be burning calories when you’re swimming. And the great thing about swimming is that as you’ll be doing it in your own pace, you can probably carry on swimming for a longer period of time than you would be running. At least if you’re as out of shape as I am…

You can burn approximately 300 – 500 calories per hour by swimming. And if you’re into water running, you could burn as many calories running in the pool as you would out of the pool.

So, it’s time to pack your swimming suit and towel – I’ll see you in the pool! 🙂

Have you noticed other benefits of swimming? Please share with us!

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