Swimming is an activity with many benefits for physical and mental health. It is the fourth most popular form of physical exercise in the United States. Swimming can be a vigorous cardiac activity or a slower, more meditative form of exercise. Anyone can learn to swim, and the benefits increase over time. Mike Kotch, a former swimming coach with many years of experience at the collegiate level, examines the benefits of swimming and relates how anyone can achieve better mental and physical health while taking part in the sport.
When compared with people who do not take part in the exercise, swimmers have half the risk of death. Swimming works the cardiovascular system, strengthening the heart and lungs. Swimming builds cardiac endurance and benefits their ability to take part in other activities.
Unlike running, swimming is a full-body activity that provides a total workout without excess wear and tears on the bones and joints. Both upper and lower body muscles are affected, along with core and back muscles. Swimming produces great results for all participants.
Good for People with Limitations
Since it is a low-impact activity, swimming is appropriate for people with arthritis, existing injuries, disabilities, and other bone and joint problems that make it difficult to get significant amounts of exercise. Swimming can even benefit people with serious conditions like multiple sclerosis. Swimming can also help to relieve the joint pain associated with arthritis and other medical conditions.
Appropriate for People with Asthma
Many forms of cardio exercise are difficult for people with asthma, but swimming provides the opportunity for a vigorous workout without the disadvantages of dry air.
Burns Calories Efficiently
Swimming is an excellent way to burn calories and lose weight. When compared with walking at 3.5 miles an hour for 60 minutes, which burns 315 calories, swimming at a moderate pace for an hour burns 423 calories. This calorie efficiency makes swimming a great choice for a weight loss exercise.
Helps with Sleep
Along with other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming helps to improve a person’s sleep patterns. In a study of elderly people with insomnia, people found that their sleep quality and overall quality of life were boosted significantly.
Safe in Pregnancy
Swimming, unlike other activities, is recommended throughout pregnancy as long as there are no underlying medical conditions or restrictions. A mother’s swimming may even help to benefit the health of her baby, having a lower risk of congenital defects and preterm labor.
Beneficial for Children
Children should participate in vigorous physical activity for at least one hour per day. Swimming is a great choice for kids, combining fun with exercise. Swimming has many social and physical benefits for children, from interacting with peers to the dynamics of belonging to a swim team.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Swimming is a powerful stress reliever. Swimming produces an adrenaline high which provides positive feelings. A Taiwanese study found that people’s perception of their daily life stress decreased dramatically when they added swimming to their daily routine.
Reduces Risk of Depression
Swimming has been found to decrease the risk of depression in vulnerable people. Depression is a disorder which seriously impacts the quality of life. When people swim, they can feel more in tune with themselves and accept their emotions.
Swimming, like other forms of exercise, helps people connect with their essential selves. Having regular athletic or physical practice can be a form of meditation for many people. They are able to put away their problems while they are in the pool, concentrating only on body movements and on their breath.
Joining a community pool is frequently less expensive than joining a gym, and most people only need a bathing suit to participate. When activities cost less money, more people are likely to participate.
Swimming is Beneficial
These many benefits of swimming will make it easy to decide to participate in the sport. Mike Kotch and other swim coaches extol its benefits, naming all the ways swimming can help with a person’s physical and emotional growth. Learning to swim and participating regularly can have major physical, mental, and emotional benefits.