We have talked about many forms of exercising which can keep you fit. Whether it is yoga, aerobics, cycling, or pilates any form of physical activity is extremely important in your day-to-day routine. In this, we have bought you another activity which is not just recreational and fun but also a great form of exercising and that is none other than swimming.
Swimming is one of the most fantastic activities for fun and recreation for people of all ages which you can not deny. It is considered to be one of the healthiest forms of exercise and can be continued by most people throughout their lifetime. Being in the pool in the blazing heat is a blessing. But, do you know swimming is a very good low impact full body exercise?
Yes, you read that thing right. Swimming is not just a luxury or a fun activity. It has plenty of health benefits which allow you to stay fit and healthy. It is a low-impact, full-body exercise which ensures to keep your entire body and mind are healthy.
In this article, know the benefits of swimming.
BENEFITS OF SWIMMING
1. A Full Body Workout
Swimming targets each and every muscle of your body. When you swim you use your arms, legs, core muscles and even your back. It results in working your entire body, from head to toe, all at once. The different strokes that one follows while swimming, like breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, freestyle, and butterfly; each have a different impact on the targeted muscle group. Furthermore, the resistance provided by water also pushes the body to work harder. And thus, irrespective of the style of swimming, the entire body and the maximum number of muscle groups are being exercised.
Generally, exercising in water makes your body work harder so 30 minutes in a pool is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land.
2. It Burns Calories
The rate at which your body burns calories in order to release energy is known as your metabolism. When you exercise, your metabolism increases. Swimming helps to torch calories and reduce those stubborn fats. One hour of swimming is said to burn more calories than one hour of light jogging or exercising on the elliptical trainer. According to the recent studies conducted by Harvard Medical School, a person can burn anywhere from 180-252 calories per 30 minutes of recreational swimming, while vigorously swimming laps can blast 300-420 calories.
3. Easy On Joints
Swimming is the best option for people with joint pain or recovering from an injury or those who are overweight or obese and may have fatigue or pain when exercising on land.
The most common reason people refrain from exercising is joint pain or joint injury. This often time leads to the quitting of exercising as the joints are unable to take up the pain or do the movement which is required. However, you don’t need to worry anymore. In case you suffer from joint pains, consider swimming as a form of exercise. It is very easy on the joints as no such joint movement is involved which could risk the injury.
It is the buoyancy which adds a very unique factor to this form of exercising.
4. It Helps With Back Pain
People with back pain often find it difficult to exercise and thus should adopt aquatic exercises. According to some studies, it is believed that swimming helps reduce lower back pain.
The buoyancy of the water counteracts gravity to decrease the compressive load of the spine. However, appropriate strokes should be adopted while switching to swimming as a form of exercise. The safest strokes for individuals dealing with back pain are freestyle and backstroke.
Keep in mind not to over exhaust yourself and not to choose the wrong strokes as they could impact your spine negatively.
5. Helps Combat Asthma
Swimming is all about holding your breath. The longer you can, the more amount of time you can spend underwater. In general, people might assume that swimming is not for people with asthma but we would like to break this myth right here, right now.
According to some studies, swimming activities effectively reduce asthma symptoms in children. It improves lung function, reduces symptoms, and improves overall self-confidence.
6. Helps Body Regernate and Recover
This may come as a shocker but swimming helps body generation and fastens the process of recovery from any form of injury. To help you get back faster, swimming can play a huge role. It prevents our muscles from stiffening and ensures that muscles don’t deteriorate. Some researchers have even shown some positive signs in this direction.
7. It Helps De-Stress
Swimming helps relax our minds and this leads to de-stress. When you swim your whole body relaxes and this allows your mind to clear itself from any tension, worries or workloads. According to some studies, swimming can improve mood in both men and women.
DISADVANTAGES OF SWIMMING
1. It Can Cause Injuries
As much as swimming can help in the recovery it can also cause some serious injuries. This is due to the excessive amount of repetitive movements while performing a stroke. This puts certain muscles under excessive pressure for a longer period of time, thus causing the injury. It can be due to either of the following.
- Lack of proper rest between swimming sessions.
- Bad stroke technique.
- Poor breathing technique.
- Poor conditioning and strength of the core, hips, and shoulders.
The most common injuries are shoulder injuries, tendinitis, shoulder impingement, knee injuries, neck and low back injuries.
2. Might Have To Discontinue In Winter
It is not advisable to be swimming in cold water. The increased risk of hypothermia during winters makes it non-advisable to swim when the temperature drops. Thus, during winters swimming might have to be discontinued
3. Can Cause Skin Allergies
Swimming can cause allergies if you are using a public pool. The water is often time disinfected with the use of harsh chemicals such as chlorine. This might lead to skin irritation and rashes. Chlorine can also cause eye irritations as they tend to irritate the mucous membranes.
4. Can Cause Fungal Infections
Swimming increased the risk of Mycosis, which is a kind of fungal skin infection.
One can suffer from this fungal infection even if one takes a shower directly after sweating it out in the gym. If you are using a public pool, there is a risk of getting Athlete foot too which is yet another common fungal infection amongst swimmers. It is highly contagious in nature.
5. Unwanted Weight Gain
Yes, you read this one right. Swimming can cause unwanted weight gain. However, it is a very less known disadvantage. It was discovered by scientists that swimming in colder, compared to warmer water, leads to higher levels of perceived hunger.
Our Final Verdict
There is no better combination than summers and swims. We highly recommend going swimming as it is not just a fun and recreation activity but it also has plenty of health benefits.