Whether you’re getting in shape, recovering from an injury, seeking relief from hot weather or looking to learn a valuable life skill, swimming is the perfect solution for you.
Here, we’ll overview five of the most compelling reasons why you should go swimming, no matter your age or fitness level:
- It’s a calorie-melting exercise
- Your cardiovascular health
- Joint mobility and pain relief
- Helps your body recover from injuries
- Just plain refreshing
1. A Calorie-Melting Exercise
If you’re trying to burn calories and fat fast, there are few better ways you can achieve that than by swimming.
According to Swimming.org, 30 minutes of swimming using a slow front crawl stroke burns 275 calories, while 30 minutes of swimming using a fast front crawl stroke burns a whopping 404 calories.
Compare that to 75-99 calories for 30 minutes of walking, 180-240 calories for 30 minutes of cycling and 300-405 calories for 30 minutes of running.
That’s right, swimming burns a similar amount of calories as running, which is good news for those who are bored of the treadmill, dislike running or have injuries or conditions that prevent them from running.
2. Cardiovascular Health
Swimming doesn’t just burn calories, it’s also a fantastic form of cardio, meaning that it’s great for your cardiovascular system in general. That’s because you need to use your whole body to move through the water.
As Harvard Medical School explained in a 2009 article, “Take the plunge for your heart,” swimming uses the arms, legs and other muscle groups in between, meaning that your heart and lungs will be trained to efficiently supply oxygen to the entire body.
Plus, the longer you swim, the better your endurance, stamina and cardiovascular health will be. Swimmers have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol levels and resting heart rates than people who only walk or don’t exercise at all.
3. Joint Mobility and Pain Relief
Since water is much denser than air, swimming provides much more support for your body than out-of-water activities.
This means that joints and tendons are supported and can move in any direction without impact, sore spots aren’t irritated and your entire body feels lighter.
So, if you have arthritis, are overweight or have sore joints, muscles or tissue, swimming might just be the perfect activity for you.
Even if you don’t, what’s not to love about feeling almost weightless?
4. Helps Your Body Recover From Injuries
As mentioned earlier, swimming supports your body and reduces the amount of pressure placed on your joints, tendons and tissues. For some people, this is more than convenient: It’s one of the best ways to recover from injuries.
In the Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a 2017 study titled “The Effect of Swimming on the Rehabilitation of a Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Case Study” looked at the effects of swimming on people recovering from a shoulder replacement surgery.
The study found that the addition of a swimming regime to participants’ rehabilitation programs significantly improved both pain levels and shoulder mobility.
Whether you have a bone, muscle or tendon injury, swimming could be just the thing you need to recover with less pain and more mobility.
5. Just Plain Refreshing
Whether you’re using swimming as a form of exercise, a way to have fun or a respite from hot weather, there’s no denying that taking a dip is both refreshing and relaxing.
No matter how fast or long you swim, you’ll never get sweaty and overheated like you would doing other types of activities (provided that you’re not swimming in a heated pool, of course).
So, if you’re looking for a way to exercise without getting covered in sweat, a place to take a mental breather or a cool refuge on a hot day, swimming is the solution for you.
Swimming isn’t just for athletes and children: It’s a wonderful form of exercise for people of all ages and abilities, and can provide unparalleled health benefits (and plenty of fun) to all.