The heat of the summer is still with us, and if you have been looking for a good all-rounder addition to your exercise routine, look no further. Kill two birds with one stone – grab your trunks and jump in the pool. Ceri Hannan from Virgin Active South Africa believes that swimming is a great way to stay fit and we agree. Read on to get the benefits of this refreshing form of exercise.
There are numerous benefits to this exercise:
1. Lowers stress
Ceri Hannan believes that the benefits of a swim go beyond physical fitness and this is true. According to a fieldwork study conducted by Ipsos Mori and Speedo, being underwater brings on a calming effect due to the drop in the amount of sensory information that usually floods our body. Click here for the full study. This is why soaking in the bathtub at the end of a long day feels so therapeutic. Apart from alleviating stress, swimming can also improve memory function.
2. Burns calories
Swimming is an effective way to burn calories – in some cases, more effective than running depending on your stroke and intensity. Furthermore, there is less chance of one straining their body whilst in the pool.
3. Lung power
According to a study published in Wiley-Blackwell, swimming improves the overall health of your lungs and this can help alleviate asthma symptoms as well as lower your blood pressure. When you’re underwater, your body adapts to using oxygen more efficiently and once you’re out of the pool- your body will release more carbon dioxide. Knowing how to efficiently use oxygen can increase your endurance capacity. Click on the link to find the study here.
4. Total body workouts
Swimming works your entire body – from the muscles in your arms and shoulders to stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back muscles. Unlike runners, swimmers use more muscle groups because of the water and this makes it a great aerobic exercise. Furthermore, your muscles are lengthened and this increases their flexibility. Fitness and strength built from swimming can help you become more apt at other sports. Swimming is also a fun way for your child to remain healthy and fit. If you’re suffering from an injury of some sort- being low impact, swimming is a great workout as you can swim at higher intensities without feeling like your body is wearing out.
5. Anti-aging effects of swimming
According to research from Indiana University, swimming has anti-aging benefits such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and bettering your cardiovascular performance. If you’re suffering from joint pain, swimming can help to increase flexibility and reduce joint inflammation. Also, swimming in salt water can help to combat dryness as the skin holds onto moisture and it’s also a great detox.
So what are you waiting for? Jump in!