It’s true — here are 7 of the best wellness benefits you’ll reap from swimming.
1. Swimming Gives Your Heart a Healthy Workout
Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it provides all of the same benefits as other heart-healthy exercises. For instance, when you swim laps in your pool, your heart will become larger, which strengthens it and helps it provide your body with better blood flow. Want proof? Studies show that women who swim 30 minutes a day reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent!
The exercise also reduces blood pressure, raises good cholesterol levels, and helps keep the cells that line your arteries flexible.
2. Swimming Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Aerobic exercise and a reduction in the risk of diabetes are related. In fact, if a man burns 500 calories a week in aerobic exercise, he will reduce his risk of diabetes by 6%. Swimming the breaststroke just three times a week for 30 minutes will help reduce your risk of diabetes by more than 10%.
And women? Women who vigorously exercise are 16% less likely to develop the disease than those who are inactive. And don’t despair if you already have type 1 diabetes! By participating in an aerobic exercise like swimming, you can increase your insulin sensitivity.
3. Swimming Lowers Your Stress and Anxiety
When you swim laps in the swimming pool, your brain releases endorphins — the feel-good hormone. All those endorphins create a feeling of ease and relaxation. But don’t think all that wonderfulness is just a temporary state of mind.
When you routinely swim for prolonged periods, your brain will undergo hippocampal neurogenesis, a process that regrows new brain cells in areas that have become atrophied because of long periods of stress. This is just one of the reasons this aerobic exercise of one of the best for beating depression, anxiety, and stress!
Did You Know?
Because swimming uses both hemispheres and lobes of the brain in concert, the exercise helps increase the communication between them. This results in better cognitive function and learning abilities! Who knew something so fun was that important to cognitive health?
4. Swimming Helps With Weight Loss
Who doesn’t want to shed a few pounds once bathing suit season is upon us? The good news? Your backyard pool could help you achieve the goal. Even if you don’t have pounds to lose, swimming will help you maintain your weight and allow you to indulge in that extra hamburger at your next pool party cookout!
The number of calories that you burn while swimming will depend on your weight and the intensity in which you swim, but here are some general guidelines for every ten minutes of swimming:
- Backstroke: 80 calories
- Breaststroke: 60 calories
- Butterfly stroke: 150 calories
- Freestyle: 100 calories
5. Swimming Strengthens Muscles and Bones
Because you are swimming against the massive force of the water using an ever-changing range of motion, the exercise will help your body stay flexible and loose. It also works to improve your muscle tone and strength. And if you have concerns about bone loss? Swimming can help improve your bone strength, especially for post-menopausal women.
6. Swimming Helps Alleviate Arthritis Pain
Because of buoyancy, when you are in the water, it will support 90% of your body weight. That’s a great way to reduce the aches and pains of arthritis. Additionally, water-based exercises help decrease osteoarthritis pain and the pain of the affected joints. Add in heated pool water, and you get even more relief!
7. Swimming Can Help You Live Longer
We all want to live full, healthy lives, don’t we? What if we told you that swimmers tend to have a 50% lower death rate than other exercisers like runners, walkers, or those who don’t exercise at all? And the results are for men and women of all ages. (Researchers studied participants who ranged from 20 to 90 years old.)
Dive In for a Healthier, Happier Life!
Your backyard swimming pool is for more than beautifying your yard, hosting pool parties, and providing a soothing spot to relax after work. You can also use your swimming pool as a personal wellness center to keep in shape, improve your physical and mental health, and increase your chances of a longer life!