We have always heard that swimming is the most complete sport, and it is because it is an aerobic exercise in which two thirds of the body’s muscles are involved, enhancing strength, endurance and flexibility. In addition, it can be practiced at any age, the risk of injury is lower and its regular practice has benefits for the body in the medium and long term. The best thing is that it adapts to different levels of fitness, ideal for those who are just starting out and a very complete exercise for regular athletes, either in the pool or in open water with lifeguarding training
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:
1. Produces low impact on bones and joints
By immersing our body in water for sports, it “weighs less”, is governed by the principle of buoyancy and does not receive the impact of asphalt or hard surfaces that it faces in other sports. In this way, the joints wear out less and are better preserved.
2. Greater flexibility and elasticity
When swimming we use most of the muscle groups of our body, both the upper and lower body as well as the trunk and head, so the joints are more flexible and the muscles are toned and strengthened, especially those of the back. That is why it is a highly recommended exercise for those who suffer from hernias, lower back pain or hip problems.
3. Burn fat
In optimal conditions and depending on the intensity at which it is practiced, swimming can burn between 500 and 600 calories per hour. For this reason, it is common for it to be incorporated into the routines of those who begin a weight loss program.
4. Fight chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes or cholesterol
Being an aerobic exercise , of low intensity but carried out over longer periods of time, it helps lower blood cholesterol levels and produces greater sensitivity to insulin, lowering blood glucose levels.
5. Improved respiratory system and increased lung capacity
Learning to breathe is the first step to enjoy swimming, with each stroke and each breath you take, the respiratory system is favored .
6. Neural and cognitive benefits
When swimming we activate the two cerebral hemispheres and the four lobes of the brain, which seems to lead to greater cognition, in addition, neuronal links and greater activation of the brain that receives more oxygen are produced.
7. Cardiorespiratory benefits
Swimming improves oxygen consumption by up to 10% and the heart can pump blood up to 18% more. This reverts to better circulation since it decreases the heart rate, while breathing exercises imply an increase in cardiorespiratory resistance.
8. Psychological benefits
By immersing ourselves in the water and concentrating on breathing, an immediate effect is produced: the body relaxes and the feeling of stress is reduced, and the symptoms of depression also improve .
As we already mentioned in the article on the euphoria of the runner , with the practice of sports endorphins are released that enhance a positive attitude, the feeling of well-being takes over the athlete and tensions are released.
What are the benefits of swimming?
There is no doubt that sport is health. Performing physical activities on a regular basis and having a balanced diet are the pillars of a healthy life. They reduce the risk of diseases and feed emotional health.
Don’t think about it any more: you should exercise regularly . Especially now.
At a time like the present, marked by long months of pandemic, regularly practicing some sport is a great therapy to combat stress and anxiety.
And in this field of sports practice, swimming is one of the most resistant activities, because it forces you to constantly move to stay afloat and move forward. So if you last an hour of lengths in the pool, you can last anything.
Few exercises are as complete and fun as swimming. It not only combines physical and mental development, but also adapts to different fitness levels and ages.
In addition, swimming is an essential learning for children, because it contributes to the development of their independence and self-confidence. And it is a very useful life tool in case of need.
1. Boost mental and emotional health
The oxygen you use to swim activates your brain and releases toxins. What’s more, by concentrating on your breath, your body relaxes and feelings of stress are reduced. That shot of endorphins, the pleasure hormone, also lowers your anxiety levels and improves your mood. In short, it increases your feeling of well-being.
2. It is a complete exercise
Swimming uses two-thirds of the muscles in the body, boosting strength and endurance. In addition, it wears out the joints less than other sports practices, because the body, being floating, does not receive the impact of hard surfaces. If you practice front crawl or backstroke, you fundamentally tone biceps, triceps, deltoids, glutes, intercostals, abdominals and pectorals.
3. Improves the respiratory and cardiovascular system
When swimming, you consume up to 10% more oxygen and your heart pumps blood up to 18% more. This means enjoying a better blood circulation, since it decreases the heart rate and you gain an increase in cardiorespiratory resistance. Believe me: your lungs and your heart will thank you.
4. It is a proven fat burner
If you are looking to lose weight, add this exercise to your routine.
5. Increase flexibility
Swimming uses your upper and lower body. This makes the joints more flexible and tones the muscles , especially those of the back. Therefore, it is a highly recommended exercise if you suffer from poor posture, back pain, scoliosis or hernia problems. It is also indicated for patients with asthma.
6. Key to children’s development
It is important to start children early in the world of swimming so that they lose their fear of water and are safer. With this knowledge, they will know how to function and will have no problems in two very popular places in our country: the sea and the pool.
7. Aerobic exercise suitable for everyone
Swimming has no age barriers. The important thing is to choose the practice that best suits us, according to medical criteria.
8. Beyond swimming
You have to choose the style that best suits what you need, such as front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly, and you can also integrate sessions that go beyond swimming so you don’t get bored. In recent years, for example, aquagym or aquabiking (spinning in the water) have gained relevance and preference in swimming pools: both are fun aerobic exercise modalities that you can combine in your routine.
Boost your health by incorporating swimming as part of your exercise routine. You will receive all these benefits and, by the way, you will refresh yourself.