Make a splash in your health with swimming
We love pedalling our hearts out for 45 minutes on the bike, but there’s something pretty special about diving into cool, clear water and feeling your muscles move and work in a way you don’t normally. Though most of us don’t do it as often as we’d like, swimming is a real health-booster. And though it’s obviously much more fun to swim outside when the weather is fabulous, summer isn’t the only time you should be taking advantage of the sport.
In addition to being fun and refreshing, there are myriad benefits to getting in the water. Ready to make a splash? Here are the best benefits to swimming, all year-round.
- Swimmers live longer. All of us are searching for the fountain of youth, trying to live healthier, longer lives. So if you want to live as long as possible, swimming is probably a good sport for you to incorporate. Studies have shown that swimming reduces the risk of all-cause mortality more than any other form of exercise, reducing it by 28 percent. Thankfully, cycling is also great, reducing it by 15 percent, so it’s good to do a combination of both.
- Your mental health will improve if you swim. Sure, swimming is amazing for your figure, but it’s also highly beneficial for your mind. Studies have shown that people who swim regularly are more likely to have overall better moods than people who don’t. Swimming just a few times a week will help take your mind off your problems and lift your mood in no time.
- Swimming strengthens your lungs. Most exercise encourages shallow breathing. Just think about running or cycling, when you are often huffing and puffing. Swimming, however, is great for strengthening your lungs, what with all the time spent underwater. When you swim, you take quick, deep breaths in and then slowly release it as you move through the water. Swimming improves your respiratory muscles and keeps the lung alveoli from collapsing and getting stuck together.
- It’s actually a whole lot of fun. No matter the benefits, you’re not very likely to participate in a sport if you hate it. Luckily, once they get the hang of it, most people love splashing around in the water for a little while. Even if you’re not swimming hard-core laps, you will still reap the benefits. Bring on the Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows!
- Your body will get younger. Ok, well you won’t exactly be Benjamin Button, but research has shown that swimming two or three miles a few times a week can actually help postpone the aging process. Hopping in the water weekly will keep you feeling young, wild and free.
- Your joints will thank you for it. As you might have guessed, swimming is a very low-impact form of exercise. All of that joint pain you might be experiencing thanks to running or boot camps can actually be reduced if you swim, as the amount of pressure on your body is reduced in the water. If the water is warm, even better. Water that isn’t ice cold can actually help the body work out any discomfort or stiffness it may be experiencing.