Six reasons swimming is a great workout for anyone
Swimming has been well documented as a great form of exercise. It provides a vigorous cardiovascular workout that has several significant advantages over traditional workouts. And, it’s a form of exercise that has many benefits for people of all ages.
Need more reasons to swim? We’ve got them:
1. Your heart will thank you for it.
When a person is in the water, their heart rate is much lower than on land. The resting heart rate will be about 13% lower (that’s about 17 fewer beats per minute on average). This difference is thought to be due to the lowered impact of gravity, and the lower water temperature. What this means is that the heart will have to work less in the water to accomplish an equivalent amount of exercise performed on land. Swimming gives a person a head start on building a healthy lifestyle, which over time will lead to improved cardiovascular function and lower blood pressure. Here are some excellent resources with more details:
- Mental & Physical Benefits of Swimming
- Heart Health & Swimming Pools
- Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise
2. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease.
It’s a documented fact that heart disease is the number one killer in America. Over 1 million people a year suffer from heart attacks. Many heart issues are caused when plaque builds up in the arteries. If a blood clot gets caught in those restricted arteries, it can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. A regular regimen of swimming can lower blood pressure, which decreases the risk of a possible heart attack or other health complications.
3. Swimming is low impact.
For people who might have arthritic joints, or just don’t like the pounding of the running trail or the treadmill at the gym, swimming provides a great alternative. The buoyancy of water means you’ll only have to support a fraction of its own weight. That lightness is definitely one of the most enjoyable elements of swimming. As the water supports the weight, the spine, joints and muscles get a welcome break while exercising.
4. It’s kid-approved!
If you want to give your kids a good way to exercise, and a skill that will benefit them through their whole life, get them swimming. If a child is enrolled in swimming lessons early, they will have the confidence and skill to be around the water. Instead of sitting in front of the television playing video games, a child who swims will be building their muscles, strengthening their whole body, and will have a healthier mental outlook.
5. You’ll have this skill for a lifetime.
Swimming is a skill that we can use throughout our lives. Any time there is a pool nearby, you can jump in for a session, and feel the health benefit. A recommended level of exercise is 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. But swimming can be more strenuous than other forms of exercise, so a good plan would be to start with 12 to 20 minutes of swimming at first, and let the endurance build over time.
6. Swimming is especially good for seniors.
Did you know that 75% of seniors don’t exercise enough? Swimming gives seniors a full body workout, but won’t stress the joints or muscles. Swimming can also motivate seniors to improve their exercise habits, and get more involved in other activities. People who swim have a lower mortality rate than people who run, walk or those who don’t exercise at all. Since a sedentary lifestyle increases risk of illness, going for a swim regularly is like an investment in good health.
See? There are lots of good reasons why swimming is a great form of exercise. It’s for people of all ages, it can improve your health and lower your risk for disease. And most important, it’s fun!
Becky Flanigan writes for AnApplePerDay.com, and focuses on kids, parenting, exercise and health. She is avid about her workouts, which range from aqua jogging to marathon training. She and her husband Ed also enjoy entertaining and traveling with their three kids.