Swimming isn’t just for the kids this summer! Get in the pool and give your body a heckuva workout, too. This summary is pulled from this article on 10 benefits of swimming.
10 Benefits of Swimming:
1. It Counts as Both Cardio and Strength Training
In swimming, if you aren’t moving constantly, you’re sinking. Plus, water is about 800 times denser than air, says swimming and triathlon coach Earl Walton, owner of Tailwind Endurance in New York City, so your muscles are under constant resistance.
2. It’s Easy on the Impact
Low impact means swimming is a great workout for injured athletes who need to take it easy on their joints, but it may also mean more results: “You can swim at higher intensities on a regular basis without feeling wear and tear on your body,” Walton says.
3. It’s Great for Your Lungs
Your body learns to take in more fresh air with every breath and expel more carbon dioxide with every exhalation.
4. It Makes You a Better Runner
By increasing your ability to take in and effectively use oxygen, swimming increases your endurance capacity like crazy, Walton says. It also means you can run faster mile after mile without getting winded.
Also, swimming trains your glutes and hamstrings, your core, and your shoulders—all of which are needed for improved running form and performances.
5. Anyone Can Do It
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, pregnant, a new mom, or an Ironman competitor, swimming can give you a great workout. You control the pace, intensity, and what you get out of every session, he says.
6. It Slashes Major Stress
Being submerged in water dulls the amount of sensory information that bombards your body, helping to bring on feelings of calm, according to a study published in Pain Research & Management.
7. It Turns Back the Clock
Regular swimmers are biologically 20 years younger than their driver’s licenses say they are, according to research from Indiana University. Scientists say that, even up until your 70th birthday, swimming affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry to be much more similar to that of your younger self.
8. It Hits Otherwise Underworked Muscles
When you’re in the pool, your arms are all over the place, meaning you need to work your often-neglected lats, deltoids, and traps, he says. Plus, since so much of swimming is about staying balanced and level in the water, swimming helps you develop the deep stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back that women often miss.
9. It Makes You Smarter
Blood flow to the brain increased by up to 14 percent when men submerged themselves in water up to their hearts, according to a Journal of Physiology study. Researchers believe water’s pressure on the chest cavity may have something to do with it, and they are now studying whether water-based workouts improve blood flow to the brain better than do land-based ones.
10. It Opens You Up to Awesome Experiences
Want to hop off the back of a boat? Swim across the San Francisco Bay? Go snorkeling in the Bahamas? Win every game of Marco Polo? Mastering swimming will help you do all that, Walton says. “Swimming’s a life skill. It opens the doors to a lot of fun stuff.”
The full article can be found here.