Whilst any type of exercise is good, swimming is proven to be one of the best if you are unfit and/or overweight. Great for both mind and body, we list below the main reasons why swimming is a smart choice for getting fit and losing weight. If you own a pool you have every incentive to use it but even if you don’t most people can get to a public pool without too much effort.
- Swimming helps to lose weight – You can burn around 360 calories just doing 30 minutes of breaststroke – that is more than walking or cycling. See the Calorie Cruncher on swimming.org for more information on burning calories by swimming.
- Swimming reduces stress – According to a survey of four thousand swimmers, 74% of swimmers believe that it releases stress and tension and 68% say that working out in the water helps them to feel good about themselves whilst 70% say that they feel mentally refreshed after swimming. Another study suggests that swimmers of all abilities, are less likely to feel tense, depressed, angry or confused when they’ve been swimming.
- Swimming strengthens your body – The resistance of water is much higher than that of air which means that you have to work mush harder to move through it. It’s a bit like working out in a gym but without the need for any expensive equipment. This means that swimming is an affordable means of working out.
- Swimming is low-impact exercise – Due to the buoyancy of water you are only bearing about ten percent of your weight whilst swimming. This means that there is less impact on bones, joints and muscles than with most other forms of exercise. Swimming is, therefore, low-risk in that you are unlikely to suffer any injury whilst doing it.
- Swimming helps you to sleep – Swimming (like all forms of exercise) means that you are about twice as likely to get a good nights sleep compared to people who don’t exercise. It also means that you are less likely to report sleep issues such as insomnia and waking too early in the morning.
- Swimming keeps you cool – Because the water cools you down you won’t get sweaty or overheated whilst exercising.
- Swimming keeps you well – As well as being a good form of cardiovascular exercise it also is seen to help control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Therefore regular swimming will help to prevent you developing many common health problems.