According to experts, adults should complete 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Swimming is a great way to exercise your whole body and your cardiovascular system and has a host of other benefits as well.
In fact, swimming laps regularly for an hour burns almost as many calories as running during a marathon. It is also easier on your body, as the water offers both resistance and buoyancy.
1. Whole-Body Exercise
Among the many benefits of swimming, is that it can help to exercise your entire body from head to toe!
- Increase your heart rate, without stressing your body
- Tone your muscles
- Builds whole-body strength
- Boost endurance
Water provides a gentle resistance as each exercise targets different muscle groups. Whichever stroke you use, you are using most of your muscles in order to move through the water.
In addition to exercising your muscles, you also exercise your cardiovascular system. Swimmers’ hearts and lungs are strengthened by swimming. Research suggests that swimming may even reduce your risk of death.
2. An Ideal Option for Those with Physical Limitations
Swimming can provide a safe form of exercise for people with:
- Physical injury
- Other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult
You may even be able to reduce a certain amount of pain or improve your recovery after an injury by swimming. According to one study, people with osteoarthritis experienced significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness after engaging in physical activities such as swimming and cycling.
Even more interesting, the results showed little difference between the two groups in terms of benefits. Swimming, therefore, appears to have many of the same benefits as commonly prescribed land exercises.
The humid environment of pools makes swimming an ideal activity for asthmatics. Additionally, breathing exercises associated with the sport, such as holding your breath, may enable you to expand your lung capacity and gain greater control over your breathing.
It is also known that swimming may be beneficial to individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). During exercise, the buoyancy of the water supports the limbs while providing gentle resistance.
In one study, people with MS showed significant reductions in pain following a 20-week swimming program. These people also showed improvement in fatigue, depression, and disability symptoms.
3. Burns Calories Through Low-Impact Exercise
Swimming is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories, with a low impact on the joints. A 160-pound person would only need to swim laps at a moderate or slow pace for an hour in order to burn 423 calories; if they swam faster than that (which isn’t too hard!), then their calorie count increases exponentially depending on weight.
At 200 pounds you’ll be burning 528 – 892 per hour, while a 240-pound person will find themselves between 632 – 1068 after an hour of swimming.
That’s pretty impressive when compared against other popular activities like walking around 3 miles for 60 minutes–a walker burns 314 during this time period, whereas our jogger has now burned twice as much.
4. Improves Sleep Patterns
There is evidence that swimming can help you sleep better at night. According to a study conducted on older adults with insomnia, regular aerobic exercise significantly improved quality of life and sleep.
It is noteworthy that nearly half of all older people suffer from insomnia. The study investigated all types of aerobic exercise, including the elliptical, climbing stairs, cycling, swimming, and exercise videos.
Swimming is an accessible exercise for a wide range of individuals who have physical limitations that can make running less appealing. In this regard, swimming can be a good choice for older adults seeking to improve their sleep.
5. Helps Manage Stress and Mental Health
In Taiwan, researchers surveyed a group of swimmers immediately before and after swimming at a YMCA. In a survey of 101 people, 44 reported feeling mildly depressed and experiencing stress due to a fast-paced lifestyle. The number of respondents who still reported feeling stressed decreased to eight after swimming.
Despite the fact that more research needs to be done in this area, the researchers conclude that swimming can be a highly effective way to relieve stress quickly.
In a study of a small group of individuals with dementia, researchers found that participation in a 12-week aquatic program improved their moods. Aquatic exercise and swimming are not only psychologically beneficial for people with dementia. Other studies have shown that exercise boosts a person’s mood as well.
6. When a Pool Makes Financial Sense
Your home’s value might increase by up to 7%, in addition to increasing your home’s curb appeal and backyard versatility. You should also consider the following when deciding on incorporating a pool into your lifestyle:
- If you live in a high-end neighborhood and most of your neighbors have swimming pools. The lack of a swimming pool may make your home more difficult to sell.
- If you reside in a warm climate, such as Florida or California
- There is enough space on your lot to accommodate a swimming pool and still have some yard to play in or to garden.
7. Safe and Fun Exercise for the Whole Family
Swimming can also provide some wonderful benefits to pregnant women and to their unborn children. One study in animals showed that mother rats’ swimming had positive effects on their offspring’s brain development. The supplement may even protect babies from a type of neurological disorder called hypoxia-ischemia, but more research is necessary. Aside from the potential health benefits, swimming is an activity that can be performed in all three trimesters.
According to another study, swimming in chlorinated pools while pregnant has no adverse effects. Women who swam during their early to mid-pregnancies had a lower risk of preterm labor and congenital defects.
Though swimming is generally considered safe during pregnancy, some women may be restricted in their activities due to pregnancy-related complications. If you are pregnant and have complications, discuss the types of activities that are safe with your doctor.
Children require a minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, but it doesn’t need to feel like a chore either. Swimming is a fun activity and does not feel like a formal exercise.
Your child has the option of taking structured swimming lessons or joining a swim team. Unstructured swim time is an excellent method of getting kids moving.
Shop Swimming Pools in Edgewater Today
Did you find the information in this article helpful? Find more useful health and lifestyle tips about swimming pools in our blog and online resource center. Our experts at Arundel Pool and Spa are always here to help, that’s why we have a fully-loaded owner resources section on our website, along with a variety of frequently asked questions.
If you’re ready to take the next step and find the best option for your lifestyle, contact our experts at Arundel Pool and Spa today. We are more than happy to help you browse our selection and then brainstorm unique ideas to incorporate them within your backyard living space. Better yet, we’ll work with you and your budgetary needs, to ensure that this investment is not only long-lasting but comfortable as well.
For more information, take a look at this article that covers some of the most frequently asked questions about hot tubs and swimming pools.