At the start of the year, many of us made resolutions. Among the common goals, like losing the budding paunch or toning those flabby arms, heading to the gym often emerges as the go-to solution. However, only some find the gym appealing. So, if walking isn’t your thing and home workouts seem too tedious, consider embracing the joys of swimming. Here are ten reasons why swimming might be the best way to stay fit, active, and in shape.
10. Comprehensive Workout
Ever been to the gym and felt overwhelmed by the regimented workouts? Day 1 for shoulders and triceps, Day 2 for biceps, back, chest, and so on. It can become monotonous and taxing. Swimming, on the other hand, offers a full-body workout in a fun and refreshing way. Plus, by varying your strokes, you can focus on specific muscle groups.
Furthermore, swimming can be as calorie-burning as running on a treadmill. For example:
- 10 minutes of breaststroke = 60 calories
- Backstroke = 80 calories
- Freestyle = 100 calories
- Butterfly stroke = 150 calories (For comparison, a 10-minute mile run burns around 100 calories.)
9. Enhanced Immunity
Who doesn’t want to fend off sickness? Swimming might be your answer. Studies suggest that swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. According to ASA, the governing body for swimming, swimmers have a 50% lower early mortality rate than those involved in other physical activities. And since swimming is low-impact, it can be a lifelong activity. Fitness legend Jack La Lanne, for instance, swam daily, even at 93!
8. Health Benefits Galore
While swimming’s immunity-boosting properties are commendable, it also offers cardiovascular and muscular benefits. It can reduce blood pressure, enhance joint flexibility, improve stamina, and even help regulate cholesterol. It’s an excellent exercise for expectant mothers (under supervision) and those with back pain or arthritis.
7. Stress Reliever
Swimming releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Coupled with rhythmic breathing and the meditative repetition of strokes, it’s akin to aquatic yoga. It can significantly reduce stress and enhance concentration.
6. Efficient and Gentle
Swimming allows you to achieve more with less effort. Unlike high-impact exercises, swimming doesn’t strain the skeletal system. When immersed in water, your body becomes lighter, reducing the physical strain.
5. Diabetes Prevention
Regular aerobic exercises can reduce the risk of diabetes. Swimming, especially the breaststroke for 30 minutes thrice a week can help you burn 900 calories, thus keeping type 2 diabetes at bay.
4. Bone and Muscle Building
Swimming can help improve bone mass density (BMD). One study found that men who undertook an eight-week swimming program saw a 23.8% increase in their triceps muscle mass. So, if running isn’t for you, dive into the pool.
3. Core Strength
Dreaming of that perfect six-pack? Swimming, especially freestyle strokes, focuses on building core strength, potentially giving you the coveted “V” shape.
2. Natural Beauty Treatment
Who doesn’t crave soft, glowing skin? Swimming in salt water can hydrate and detoxify the skin, promoting the growth of new cells. So, skip those pricey skincare products and take a dip in the ocean.
1. Brain Boost
Researchers in Australia discovered that children who took swimming lessons had advanced language development, fine motor skills, and even mathematical abilities compared to their non-swimming peers. These benefits were attributed to the cognitive challenges posed by swimming, like calculating distances swum.
In conclusion, with all these compelling benefits of swimming, it’s hard to resist the urge to jump into the pool. And if you need just a little more motivation, remember that swimming pools can also be a great place to socialize and perhaps spot a few “Greek Gods and Goddesses” soaking up the sun. Dive in and experience the magic of swimming!