If you’ve been busily looking for a workout regime that is impactless, not as demanding and intimidating as CrossFit, and not as boring as running or cycling, then look no further than swimming. Swimming is simply the act of moving the body through water using the hands and legs. Unsurprisingly, some of us are not aware of the countless benefits the body derives from the act of swimming. The question, as asked by some of us is, ‘is swimming an exercise?
The answer to the above question is a 100% YES!
The question might seem rhetoric, but it sure does require an answer.
The Body Stays Calm As You Workout….
Some of us perceive swimming as a hussle, but this is far from the truth. The calming effect of water as you swim keeps the body cool and relaxed whiles your heart and lungs get a great workout. Almost as many calories as running, is burnt in an hour of swimming, without putting stress on your muscles, joints and bones. Your body is saved from the impact it would have received from an hour of running.
It is worth mentioning that, 30 minutes of swimming, twice a week is ideal for a gradual build-up of cardiovascular endurance. Is swimming an exercise?……yes, it sure is!
Less Sweat…..Endless Benefits
Swimming is your ideal fitness regime if you are not a fun of constantly working up some sweat but are keen on benefiting from a full cardio workout. No matter how hard you push yourself as a swimmer, you will not feel sweaty as the surrounding water is constantly cooling you down.
Swimming helps maintain strong and healthy heart and lungs. Some research suggests there is a positive correlation between swimmers and better lung capacity. The better your lung capacity, the more proficient your body processes oxygen. In lay-man’s terms, a better lung capacity means you won’t be easily out of breath.
Full Body Workout
Is swimming an exercise?……for the 100th time, yes, it is!
Swimming truly works your entire body, head to toe. Swimming builds and tones muscles, builds endurance and increases heart rate even though it’s a low impact workout. Swimming is typically considered an aerobic exercise, even though exercising in water provides moderate resistance.
Swimming De-Stresses, Relaxes And Improves Sleep
Regular swimming reduces anxiety, lowers stress levels and massively improves your sleep pattern. Looking to get rid of the stresses of work and general life?….Then take up swimming and you’ll surely not regret it!
Swimming is a great choice for people who due to physical and stress-related issues, find exercises like running, CrossFit and cycling less appealing.
Awesome For General Wellbeing!
Regular swimming, as well as being a great form of cardiovascular workout, protects against heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. A positive mental outlook is also maintained with the help of regular swimming, combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet.
No Expensive/Specialist Equipment Required
This is just straight-forward, all you basically need is a swim-wear and a pair of swimming goggles (if required). Swimming is an affordable exercise option compared to other disciplines like cycling.
I Have A Health Condition…..Is Swimming Good For Me?
Swimming can be a safe workout for patients of different health conditions. Health professionals recommend swimming for several health conditions, some of which include:
- Arthritis – Swimming can help prevent further injuries by taking the load off your joints. Despite swimming being a great aerobic workout for people suffering from arthritis and lower back pain, it is still advisable to first consult your doctor if you have had a very recent injury, an arthritis flare or joint replacement.
- Diabetes – Swimming can effectively and efficiently help you burn calories, lose weight and maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Swimming also raises your good (HDL) cholesterol whiles lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- Disability – For both disabled children and adults, swimming boosts confidence and improves social skills and family connections. A recreational activity such as swimming leaves you with a positive feeling which, in the long run, improves your mental health. Being involved in a competitive sports like swimming can massively improve the independence of disabled people.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – This is a condition which affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms include, problems with vision, balance and muscle movement. People with this medical condition may find swimming very beneficial as the water makes limbs buoyant. This buoyancy helps to support the limbs during exercise.
How Safe Should I Be?
So we have finally decided to take a dive but curious as to how safe we need to be prior to the dive……… Stress no further……..just follow the following safety tips:
- If you are new to the sport of swimming, then I strongly suggest you take swimming lessons. Finding and enrolling in an age-appropriate swimming class is easier than you think……trust me!
- Only swim in areas that are safe and designated for swimming. Preferably, swim in areas that are supervised by qualified lifeguards.
- Please ensure you are not alone if swimming in areas with no lifeguard supervision.
- It is advisable that your muscles are warmed-up and stretched before commencing.
- It is recommended that you do not overdo the swimming if you are just starting out.
- Please ensure you have water on hand and drink regularly even if you are not thirsty. Also avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. You can easily dehydrate while swimming.
- If swimming outdoors on a sunny day, protect your skin by wearing an appropriate sunscreen.
- Children and weak swimmers should always be supervised during swimming. This tip should be strongly adhered to as it reduces the risk of drowning.
What To Takeaway…….
Swimming is not only an exercise, but also a recreational activity for all age groups and fitness levels. As I said earlier, getting started is easier than you think. Swimming has a myriad of benefits for your mind, soul and body!
Try to safely increase your swim duration once you get the basics right. An increased swim pace that keeps your heart rate elevated has countless benefits for your body, some of which have been mentioned in this article.
Remember………stay SAFE and HYDRATED always!!