Everyone wants to be an Olympic swimmer. But luckily, you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to benefit from the sport. People of all ages, from all backgrounds, and with various levels of experience can benefit from swimming. Swimming is one of the few sports you can do from a young age and all the way up into your 90s and beyond.
Why not jump in? It’s not too late to gain from the hidden benefits of swimming. Swimming is perfect for your mental health and physical health. Water is a low-impact sport that provides more resistance than dryland exercises and it has a therapeutic cooling effect on the body that contributes to its many benefits. It truly is the perfect sport. Here are 10 of the sport’s less obvious benefits:
1. Improve muscle strength
Swimming athletes develop muscles in a holistic way. If the athlete focuses on developing calves only, the swimmer will develop muscle groups that help to move easily under the water. Throughout the swim path, swimmers must frequently pedal and fan their arms. Your back has to stretch and rotate, your abdomen pulls in to strengthen your legs and keep your body steady. The combination of muscle groups has made swimming one of the best cosmetic exercises for the whole body. Just take a lool at some swimmers to figure it out!
2. Keep bones strong
For years, researchers did not believe that swimming affected bone weight. Are weight exercises alone that can help us achieve this benefit? No studies have been published in the journal Applied Physiology. Because there are ethical reasons to avoid examining the deep inside of human bones, the study divided the rats into three groups: the running group, the swimming group, and a control group without the exercise.
While the running group still showed the highest increase in BMD (bone mineral density), the swimming group also showed benefit over the control group in both BMD and femur weight. More research is required because the new findings suggest that previous studies that removed the bone benefits from swimming need to be re-examined.
Swimming requires you to stretch, lean over, turn and push yourself through the water. Your ankles are like fish fins and are stretched every time you snap to relieve the water pressure. This doesn’t mean you can’t stretch on your own, but repeating stretching in different swims will help you stay supple and flexible.
4. Reduce inflammation
Swimming has benefits for the heart, strengthens the heart muscle, and studies have also shown that aerobic activities, such as swimming, reduce inflammation – which is responsible for leading to atherosclerosis.
Reducing inflammation will also reduce disease progression in other areas, and we still expect from studies to learn more about the benefits of swimming.
5. Burn calories
Everyone knows that swimming is a great way to burn calories, but most don’t realize it’s as effective as running on a treadmill. Depending on your style and intensity, swimming can burn calories the same as running, or even better.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about sweat running down your eyes. For example, in 10 minutes of swimming, you could burn 60 calories for a backstroke, 80 calories for a breaststroke, 100 calories for a freestyle stroke, and an impressive 150 calories for a butterfly stroke.
On average, a 10-minute jog burns about 100 calories. Therefore, a high-intensity butterfly stroke can burn 150 calories more than jogging in the same time frame.
6. Improves asthma
There is nothing more unpleasant than exercise, but it doesn’t improve your breathing. Unlike exercising in the dry gym air or coping with seasonal pollen susceptibility, swimming allows you to breathe in the moist air as you exercise. Swimming not only helps alleviate asthma symptoms, but research has shown that it actually improves the general condition of the lungs.
A recent study of a group of children who completed a 6-week swim program showed an improvement in symptom severity, snoring, mouth breathing, condition, and frequency of entry institute. These benefits were still observed 1 year after the swimming program ended. For those who don’t have asthma, swimming has an overall benefit and teaches them good breathing techniques.
7. Reduce stress and depression
The secretion of endorphins stimulates a natural state of pleasure. Much has been said about this high in runners, but swimming can also bring it about.
Plus, the secretion of the hormone of happiness also makes you feel the same relaxation response as yoga. As I mentioned before, the continuous swim stretching combined with the rhythmic breathing after, you can enjoy the feeling of relaxation, and that’s something unique to sports.
Swimming also calms you and thinks deeply, because the sound of your breath and water helps you to focus inward and dissipate all other distractions. This naturally relieves stress and depression.
Research also shows that swimming can reverse stress-induced brain effects through a process called inhibiting the growth of neurons in the hippocampus (leading to improved recording mind ability).
So if you feel like you are feeling down, tossing yourself into the water tank, that’s definitely what you need to get back to being happy again.
8. Skin treatment
When you change from swimming in a normal water pool to a saltwater pool, or the ocean, you will notice a significant improvement in your skin over time.
Swimming regularly in saltwater helps skin retain moisture and detoxify, promote new cell growth. You will be amazed at how smooth and healthy your skin will look after energizing in the ocean.
9. Make you smarter
Of course any kind of exercise is beneficial for your mind, but does swimming really make you smarter?
A study of children in Australia showed that children who swim regularly have better language development, better motor skills, self-confidence, and physical development earlier than children who do not practice swimming
Swimming also helps us calculate faster and more accurately, just as swimmers often estimate the number of meters in the swim track or internal drills.
10. Extend life
Most sports help improve our health and prolong life. Swimming is one of the most effective sports. Researchers at the University of South Carolina studied 40,547 men between the ages of 20 and 90 for 32 years. Results showed that swimmers had a 50% lower risk of dying than those who are runners, walkers, or those who did not exercise at all.
The above useful information will hopefully help you realize the benefits of swimming. In addition to swimming, exercise at home with sports such as jogging with multi-purpose treadmill, cycling with a cycling exercise, also bring many similar benefits for health. Hope you will enjoy swimming and find happiness in it.