It is often said that experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise each week. But you might not always feel motivated to sweat it out at a gym. Swimming is a great way to get regular aerobic exercise. It is also the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In fact, swimming is easy on the joints while being a high intensity workout and also working well for strength training, says an article by New York Health & Racquet Club. Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of regular swimming.
Full Body Workout
Swimming is an activity that works your entire body, from head to toe. There are different strokes in swimming, such as butterfly, freestyle, backstroke, etc., with each focusing on a different muscle group. Regardless of the type of stroke you use, swimming helps to tone your muscles, while also building endurance, increasing strength and raising your heart rate without stressing your body. Plus, exercising in water adds extra resistance, meaning that a 30-minute session in the pool is equivalent to 45 minutes of exercise on land.
Reduces Stress and Improves Sleep
According to a survey published out of a group of 101 swimmers at the YMCA in New Taipei City, Taiwan, 44 reported being mildly stressed and depressed. After a swimming session, the number of people who reported stress and depression declined to just 8. Swimming has been found to reduce anxiety and depression by other studies as well.
Nearly 50% of older adults are reported to be suffering from some sort of insomnia, according to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Swimming is an excellent exercise that improves sleeping patterns and boosts quality of life.
Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. Research shows that an hour long swimming session at a low or moderate pace burns 423 calories for a 160 pound person, according to an article by Mayo Clinic. For the same duration of time, a person would only burn 160 calories with yoga and 300 calories with walking.
Great for People with Arthritis
Swimming can be a great option for people arthritis, disability, injury, or any other condition that makes high impact exercises difficult for them. In fact, people with osteoarthritis display a significant decrease in stiffness and joint pain after engaging in swimming, according to a study published on The Journal of Rheumatology.
Whether it is to reduce that holiday weight, to recover from an injury, or for general fitness, incorporating swimming in your weekly routine can offer several benefits.