Have you been swimming yet this summer? If you haven’t, you may be missing out on one of the best ways to take care of your body.
Many people can agree that swimming is an enjoyable summer activity. Most can also agree that it is a great workout. Swimming works out the entire body. But the benefits don’t stop there. There are even more advantages and positive effects of swimming.
Before swimming, however, be sure that you do so intelligently. Make sure you know how to swim, and always swim in safe areas. Other physical conditions may put you at risk if you decide to go swimming. It is, after all, an extensive workout. Make sure you consult your doctor if there is any reasonable doubt.
You’ve probably noticed that when you get into a body of water, it makes you seem lighter. This is not an accident: when you submerge your body even partially in water, it bears less weight.
This is the perfect environment for you to work out those sore and stiff joints and muscles. Water-based exercise, apart from working out your body, improves the use of joints. If you are starting to feel the onset of arthritis, this will be of great help to you. Heated pools are especially good for this.
Besides the fact that we recommend you stretch before swimming, swimming itself helps improve your flexibility. With every stroke you swim, your arms reach, your legs kick, and overall you explore a wide range of motion. Your head and spine also twist from side to side. Together, all these create the perfect combination of motion to improve your body’s flexibility.
Swimming is an aerobic exercise; by definition, it assists in your body’s blood flow. It also literally enlarges your heart as blood flow increases. The Annals of Internal Medicine published an analysis claiming that aerobic exercise may also reduce blood pressure. Any way you look at it, this is an exercise that can lead you to have a healthier heart.
Believe it or not, swimming has a powerful effect on your mental state. It not only causes the brain to release endorphins, but it can elicit the same relaxing response on your body as yoga.
How does this work? The constant stretching of muscles pairs with steady breathing creates a meditative rhythm. By focusing your mind on this repetition, you are able to put out other bothersome thoughts from your mind and focus on the exercise.
Next time you fancy a backstroke, pay attention to the effect it has on your mind.
In a 32-year study of 40,547 men from the ages of 20 to 90, researchers found that swimmers had a 50% lower death rate than those who engaged in other or no exercise. This likely is a combined result of all the benefits listed above.
The effects of swimming are many and follow a very positive trend. If you are looking for an excuse to visit one of the many swimming spots in the area, or head to the gym for a swim, here we list a few. Go do it for summer fun, and you’ll get much more out of it.