Every form of exercise has its selling points. But swimming is unlike any other aerobic workout in some of the most important ways.
First, the fact that you’re submerged under water means your bones and muscles are somewhat unshackled from the constraints of gravity. This makes swimming the ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis, for whom weight-bearing exercise can be excruciatingly painful. The coolness and buoyancy of water are also appealing to people who are overweight or obese, for whom load-bearing aerobic exercises like running may be too hot or uncomfortable.
But don’t be fooled; your body is working hard when you’re in the pool. Water is denser than air, so moving through H2O puts more external pressure on your limbs than out-of-water training, studies have shown. Even better, that pressure is uniformly distributed. It doesn’t collect in your knees, hips or the other places that bear most of the burden when you exercise with gravity sitting on your shoulders.
How you breathe during a swimming workout is another big differentiator that puts swimming in a league of its own. During a run or bike ride, your breath tends to be shallow and your exhalations forceful. But in swimming, you breathe in quickly and deeply, and then let the air trickle out. Because your head is underwater when you swim, these breathing adjustments are vital, and they may improve the strength of your respiratory muscles.
Apart from the above vital reasons why swimming becomes an almost necessity to live a healthy lifestyle, below are some more reasons to have you head to your nearest pool right away!
- Swimming can be great for muscle strengthening – All the muscle toning exercises at the gym can be combined into just this one sport to give you a great, toned, athletic physique.
- Swimming is one of the best ways to burn those calories – Apart from also being one of the most fun ways to do so!
- Swimming is great for the lungs – Having your head under water requires a great amount of control on your breathing pattern which naturally further trains your lungs to build its capacity accordingly.
- Unlike other forms of exercise, swimming makes your body flexible while also strengthening it – What can we say, water just gives and keeps giving. It’s a beautiful medium to be in.
- Swimming can easily be rated as one of the best ways to de-stress – Exhausted? Feeling sick? Overwhelmed by life’s problems? Go for a swim. You’ll know why soon enough.
- A rigorous 30-minute swim can boost up your energy levels – A body which is accustomed to being in the water will always be instantly energized with a 30 min continuous activity in it.
- Swimming can help you fight diseases – Have a cold? Asthma? Go for a swim!
- Swimming can slow down ageing, active swimmers can look up to 20 years younger than their biological age – You’re just going to have to take our word on this one before you try this out yourself.