Swimming for fitness
Are you looking for a fun, easy way to boost your metabolism, improve fitness and endurance and lose weight? Then try swimming. This low-impact activity provides aerobic benefits for young and old and can be done all year round if you have access to a heated, indoor pool. Many people who suffer from joint disease and are in need of aerobic activity turn to swimming because it gives them a total body workout without impacting their joints.
Swimming is recommended by doctors because it provides many health benefits. Some of these are:
- Building strength and endurance. Swimming recruits all the major muscle groups in the body, including the shoulders, back, legs, abdominals and gluteus. It is a good form of exercise that increases overall body strength and endurance the more you do it.
- Reducing stress. Swimming daily is a form of aerobic exercise that raises serotonin levels and helps the body fight stress.
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. The aerobic activity helps reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
- Fighting lung disease. Those with exercise-induced asthma find that swimming helps them breathe better because of the heated air around the pool.
- Fighting heart disease. Swimming provides cardiovascular benefits that fight heart disease.
- Managing arthritis pain. Arthritis sufferers benefit greatly from swimming as it not only reduces pain, but lubricates the joints to improve flexibility and range-of-motion.
- Providing relaxation. The therapeutic benefits of water are most felt during swimming. It is a great form of relaxation.
- Rehabilitation after injury. Athletes recovering from fractures and other forms of injury swim a lot as the water helps cushion weak bones and joints that might be injured by other forms of exercise.
- Weight loss. This is debatable, but it has been found that swimming for more 30 minutes can cause a 75 kilo person burn 900 calories; that's more than they would burn on a treadmill for the same amount of time. If the same rules for weight loss are followed with swimming, there is no reason why you shouldn't lose weight.
As always, before beginning a swimming routine or any form of exercise, be sure to consult your physiotherapist or doctor, then jump in.
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