Swimming is the ultimate activity to improve your health and fitness. If you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, and improve your cardiovascular capacity, it will help you achieve all of these goals. Sure, other activities will do the same, but what sets swimming apart from the rest?
Swimming provides a full-body workout every time you hop in the pool. Both your arms and legs are moving at the same time, meaning you work all the muscles in your body. This is highly beneficial from a fat-burning perspective as it means you burn more calories. The more muscles in action, the more calories you lose per session. You’re likely to burn far more calories from a 30-minute swim than you will from a 30-minute run!
Easy on the joints
One of the best things about swimming is that you get a full-body workout without loading up the joints. What does this mean? Well, when you run or lift weights, your joints succumb to lots of pressure. There’s the impact of your feet on the floor, sending shockwaves through your ankle, knee, and hip joints. When you lift weights, you can put pressure on your spine and many other joints. In the long run, this could lead to joint injuries. Or, more accurately, it will aggravate existing joint problems.
With swimming, the only resistance is the water. This means your joints move freely without extra stress put on them. So, it’s the perfect activity for people with injuries – or for the elderly population. Just make sure you warm up with a gentle swim, as you don’t want to end up with a torn rotator cuff or a similar injury by going too hard.
Now, this point is mostly relevant when looking at swimming as a sport. Some people may choose to play soccer or basketball instead. Both sports are fantastic, but they do involve contact with other people. In turn, this increases the chances of picking up injuries – particularly injuries to the joints or skull. In fact, TBIs rose 54 percent in the last eight years, and many of those injuries were linked to contact sports. I’m not saying everyone should stop playing contact sports, but it’s worth seeing alternatives if you are predisposed to injuries.
Swimming involves you and a stretch of water – that’s it! Even if you compete against others, they’re in a different lane with no contact between you. Thus, the chances of injuries decline even more.
Excellent for your cardio-respiratory system
I’ll refer to this as your CR system because it’s a bit of a handful to keep typing out! Essentially, this refers to your heart and lungs – two vital organs in your body. Swimming is wonderful for both of them as it improves heart health and increases lung capacity. As a result, your heart will be stronger than ever, and you’ll find it easier to breathe.
To put it in simpler terms, you will be a fitter individual. You’ll no longer pant when walking up some stairs!
Overall, swimming is a brilliant activity that everyone should try. It’s perfect for people of all ages and is the best way to keep fit. Give it a go if you’re looking to spice up your fitness routine.
Have you started swimming to help improve your health and fitness? If so, I’d love to know how it has improved your health and fitness. Let me know in the comments below!