Swimming has always been a popular pastime for children and adults alike. Who doesn’t remember that much-awaited summer swimming party or taking a three-hour drive for some fun at the beach? On top of that, swimming has gained a lot of popularity as a sport, having thousands of people watching at the edge of their seats. Whether for sport, exercise, or recreation, this versatile activity has some amazing benefits for you and your whole family.
1. It’s Good for Your Heart and Lungs
Swimming regularly allows the muscles in your heart to grow stronger, together with its ability to contract and efficiently deliver oxygen to the rest of your body. Over time, this also lowers your resting heart rate, leading to less stress for your heart. Swimming also increases your lung capacity and regulates your breathing as you are forced to take quick, deep breaths and slowly exhale the carbon dioxide. This is quite the opposite of our tendency to take quick and shallow breaths while doing land-based sports.
2. It’s Easy on Your Body
Gravity doesn’t have the same effect on your body when submerged in water, because the water supports a lot of your weight. This relieves a lot of the pressure you would regularly have on your muscles, joints, and bones while on land.
3. It Gives You a Full-Body Workout
Even though it’s easy on your body, swimming is a vigorous workout. While the water supports a lot of your weight, the resistance it creates actually makes your body work even harder to move through it. And while most cardio exercises tend to focus on the lower half of your body, swimming engages those otherwise unworked muscles. From the kicking of your legs to the stroke of your arms, muscles from your head to toe are strengthened. On top of that, the continuous stretching and turning of your body improves your flexibility.
4. It Helps You Relax and Relieve Stress
Saving the best for last, swimming is a great way to fight stress, anxiety, and depression. Not only does swimming naturally release mood-enhancing hormones, but the repetitive nature of swimming also provides a kind of cyclical meditation for both your mind and body.
Swimming is unlike any other aerobic workout, and you don’t have to be Michael Phelps to reap the benefits. Go on; take a dip!