Were you aware that swimming is more than just a fun warm weather activity, swimming has plenty of great health benefits and makes you feel so good after! This is why once the temperature gets cozier outside, so many of us just want to jump into that bathing suit and go swimming.
Swimming has amazing benefits on your mental health which make you feel good after. Swimming has even shown to have reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping your body naturally release endorphin hormones which whilst in the water help reduce any stress you have.
In this post we talk about the benefits of swimming and why it makes you feel good after. We also looked at how many calories can it burn? Can it improve your quality of sleep? Does swimming help your asthma? We will answer all this AND more.
Feeling Happier After Swimming
Swimming has amazing benefits on your mental health. Once you step into a pool, it’s like an automatic mood booster. In Great Britain for example, swimming was shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression on 1.4 million adults. Many of their visits to the doctor had also reduced as well due to this.
Have you ever heard of endorphins? Endorphins are hormones produced within your central nervous system that are often released as a “feel-good” reward. In the case of swimming, the calm and relaxing feeling of being underwater releases these compounds and reduces any stress you may have felt before you stepped into the pool.
In a 2015 study, over a 100 people were surveyed before going swimming, 44 of whom reported symptoms of depression and overall stress. After getting out of the pool, only 8 of the 44 claimed to still feel low and miserable.
Swimming is also said to benefit people suffering from dementia. Another study from 2014 indicated that elderly dementia patients who took part in a 12-week aquatic program showed an improvement in their mood by the end.
Swimming serves as a great way to shave off the extra weight you’ve collected over the winter. The amount of calories you burn, as well as the time it takes to do so depends on several factors. These include weight, body type, age, gender and intensity.
One minute of high-intensity aerobic exercise is equal to two minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. It has been said that men burn up to 15 more calories than women while working out.
Muscle mass and metabolism are also crucial elements in the calorie burning process. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. This allows you to drop these calories easier. Your weight is very important while swimming. The more weight on your body, the more calories you burn.
If you are around 160 pounds, you have the chance to burn 423 calories after one hour of laps in the pool, that’s an intense workout. Imagine if you were over 200 pounds, After a 60 minute swim, you could burn close to 1000 calories. What better reason to look forward to the pool!
Muscles Are Worked Out
When you go for a dip, a wide variety of muscles are put to the test. We’re talking about your core abs, shoulders, deltoids, forearms, upper back, glutes and hamstring. Even a good thirty-minutes of back and forth time in the water can serve as an intense full-body workout.
Training in a swimming pool can also help to increase the health of your heart, help sculpt your muscles, and build strength. This is especially beneficial for older people who are looking for a workout.
The water puts very little pressure on your joints and muscles. Patients with arthritis frequently report experiencing less physical pain when swimming, along with a higher functional capacity.
Those who suffer from multiple sclerosis would be happy to learn that the buoyancy your limbs experience while in water make their exercises much easier.
Swimming is what’s referred to as a low-impact workout. This is typically a physical activity that is less straining on your body. Due to the moderate level of resistance your body has to put up with, strength training in water is much easier.
Reduces Risk of an Early Death
Swimming can help you maintain your blood pressure level. Were you aware that when compared to non-swimmers, those who swim regularly can half the risk of dying earlier?
Reading this alone almost makes you want to find the nearest public pool and dive right in. A 2016 study showed that 8 weeks of swim training has significant effects on your blood pressure, blood supply and arterial stiffness.
Swimming Improves Lung Function
Swimming allows your lung capacity to flourish and it’s important to have your lungs working to their best ability. Lungs significantly impact your overall health.
The more capacity they have, the more oxygen your body will get. Your muscles will receive ample oxygen, preventing your chances of cramps due to lack of oxygen. Taking a dip in the pool can improve the capacity of your lungs.
Swimming increases your heart rate, which further impacts your lung capacity. This is because large muscle groups in your body become activated and require more oxygen to perform their tasks. And not just that, there are several breathing exercises you will need to master as you swim. These breathing exercises expand your lungs and increase their capacity. You now have better control over your breathing.
Have you ever watched a professional swimmers and noticed how long they can hold their breath? You’d think they had the gills of a fish! By dunking your head underwater and holding your breath you can help expand your lungs.
Wider lung capacity means stronger lungs. A person who normally has trouble breathing may see an improvement. A higher lung capacity has been linked to a reduced chance of cardiovascular disease.
If you are looking to swim in order to treat your asthma, a humid environment makes swimming an awesome activity. Just be cautious about chlorine, you may even want to consider swimming in a natural body of water because some studies have shown that the chemicals in pools can actually cause your lungs to have a reaction.
If one thing’s for sure, we could all use a better nights sleep. Recent studies have shown that the stress from regular exercise actually hurts your ability to sleep easier. But diving into your local pool can improve the quality of your sleep significantly.
Did you know that roughly one in four Americans develop insomnia each year? This means that 25% of the country’s population can’t sleep.
Research has implied that if you’ve been suffering from this disorder, swimming can boost your ability to snooze. Unlike regular exercise, where the high-stress impact can greatly affect your body, water makes you weightless.
When swimming, you are stretching your muscles, burning calories and relaxing your mind all at once. This is what your body wants in order to fall asleep.
If you have recently been hurt, one of the best ways of rehabilitation is to expose yourself to a swimming pool! In order to smooth out the healing process, exercising in a swimming pool will make a difference. Here, the water will strengthen your muscles and ligaments again.
Remember, swimming is a low impact exercise. Surrounding your body with water gives you a great support system as there is limited physical pressure on the body to perform. Swimming has specific benefits for those suffering from back injuries.
If your back has been hurt, try working backstrokes in the water, as it is much more comfortable for you to move around.
Get In Touch With Nature
Like I mentioned earlier, some swimming pools can have a lot of chemicals floating around in them. If you’re looking for a fresh take on life and would like more exposure to nature, head for a lake or even the ocean!
Were you aware that spending time in the wild can boost your health in a variety of ways? I don’t mean living with wolves. I’m talking about basking in the beauty of nature. Studies show that people over the age of 70 who spend time outdoors every day report feeling less pain in their muscles and bones.
Could you imagine taking a dip in a cool, clean lake? Your body would be screaming thanks. Regardless of the study mentioned above the great thing is that you don’t have to be over 70 to enjoy the great outdoors. Spending time freshening up in a natural body of water will boost your mental and physical health in ways you can’t imagine.
If you’re going to swim in natural waters, please make sure that it’s not polluted. You don’t want to be leaving the lake with a third arm. If you don’t live near a clean body of water, how about making it a goal to visit one over the summer?