Jump Right In: 8 Reasons Why You Should Start Swimming for Exercise

Jump Right In: 8 Reasons Why You Should Start Swimming for Exercise

by Posted on: July 11, 2017Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

You don’t need to be Katie Ledecky or Michael Phelps to reap the benefits of swimming. As a non-impact exercise and varying levels of intensity, the pool may be the safest and most effective place for you to workout. Grab a swimsuit and pair of goggles and get kicking!

  1. Your Brain Will Work Better: Because swimming increases oxygen flow to your brain, after a swim session you will be more alert, have better memory and improved cognitive function.
  2. Swimming helps children excel: A study of 7,000 children under 5 years old revealed that those who swam regularly achieved physical milestones and had better literacy skills than those who did not, regardless of socioeconomic status.
  3. It is a natural mood booster: Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by grabbing your swimsuit throughout the winter. One study showed that swimming during the colder months (October-January) helps reduce tension, fatigue, memory loss, and other depressive symptoms brought on by shorter days and colder temperatures.
  4. You will have lower blood pressure: Those with hypertension will benefit greatly from swimming, as it has been shown to lower resting blood pressure while serving as a safe form of exercise for those who find difficulty with other modes of exercise due to their weight, asthma, or injuries.
  5. It counts as a cardio and a strength training session: Unlike land-based types of cardio, the water (800 times denser than air) also makes swimming a strength workout as you use the muscles in your arms, back, core, and legs to power your strokes.
  6. You will reduce your risk of heart disease and live longer: Swimming is equal to cycling when it comes to reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular function. In terms of extending your life, swimming has shown the most promise compared to other exercises. One study found that in a study of 40,000 men between 20-90, those who swam or did other pool exercises (aqua-jogging, water aerobics) lowered their risk of dying from any cause by 50% compared to those men who walked regularly, were sedentary, or were runners.
  7. It is an ideal alternative to high impact exercise: Swimming utilizes muscles we do not normally use, and is also easy on joints. Use it as an alternative to running, group exercise classes on hard floors, kickboxing, cycling, or use it to gently ease back into exercise after an injury.
  8. It reduces lower back pain: Before hitting the painkillers, hit the pool instead. Because of the low-impact nature of swimming, participating in swimming exercises twice per week  has been shown to significantly reduce back pain.


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