By Bethany Cadman
Reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, MS, NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS
15 benefits of swimming Takeaway
is an exercise for people of all ages. It can be easy and inexpensive,
and a person can go at their own pace. Swimming helps a person to get or
stay in shape, but the benefits also extend to mental health.
who are 19 to 64 years old should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic
activity each week. Younger children should be physically active as
well. It is important to incorporate strength training exercises into
any routine, to keep muscles strong and flexible. As health permits,
this should be continued for as long as possible throughout life. A
person may choose swimming over another form of exercise for a range of
reasons. It gives the body a thorough workout and has many advantages
for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
15 benefits of swimming
Swimming offers a variety of benefits to mental and physical health. Fifteen are listed below.
1. A whole-body workout
can increase the heart rate, tone muscles, and manage weight. Swimming
engages almost every major muscle group, requiring a person to use their
arms, legs, torso, and stomach. Swimming also:
- increases the heart rate without putting stress on the body
- improves strength
- tones muscles
- enhances fitness
- helps to manage weight
2. Building cardiovascular strength
exercise, often referred to as cardio, involves the heart, lungs, and
circulatory system. A thorough workout routine, such as one that
features swimming, will include this type of exercise. Research suggests
that swimmers have half the mortality rate of inactive people. A study
from 2016 indicates that swimming can help to lower blood pressure and
control blood sugar levels.
3. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels
types of exercise may be challenging for people who are new or feel very
unfit. However, swimming allows a person to go at their own pace, and
it can be inviting for newcomers. A person can learn to swim at a very
young age, and most swimming pools have a designated area for beginners
and people who prefer to swim slowly.
4. A great skill to have
benefits of learning to swim safely and confidently can extend beyond
mental and physical fitness. In some cases, it may even be lifesaving.
5. Good for people with injuries
an injury or conditions, such as arthritis, can make it difficult to do
high-impact exercise. Because water gently supports the muscles,
swimming is preferred by many who are unable to take part in
high-impact, high-resistance exercises.
6. Good for people with disabilities
physical disability, such as paraplegia, can limit workout options.
Because water provides resistance and support, many people find that
swimming is an ideal option. Because swimming can boost confidence and
improve social skills, it may benefit people with mental disabilities.
Though swimming benefits the mind and body, many complain of getting
water in their ears.
7. Helping with asthma
addition to building cardiovascular strength, swimming can increase lung
capacity and improve control over breathing. While the humid air of
indoor pools may also help to improve asthma symptoms, some studies
indicate that disinfectant chemicals used in pools can make symptoms
worse. They may also increase the likelihood of a swimmer developing the
8. Improving symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
keeps limbs buoyant, so people with MS may benefit from the support and
gentle resistance that water provides. One study noted a significant
reduction in pain when people with MS took part in a 20-week swimming
program. Participants also reported improvements in MS-related fatigue
9. Safe during pregnancy
is recommended for people who are pregnant. Swimming is a recommended
form of exercise for pregnant people. Added weight can cause joint and
muscle pain during pregnancy.
Swimming is especially popular with
pregnant people because the water can support this weight. This helps
to feel more comfortable while staying fit. It is always a good idea to
consult a doctor when undertaking a new form of activity during
10. Burning calories
is an excellent way to burn calories. The amount burned depends on a
person’s weight and how vigorously they swim. Use this calories
calculator to determine how many calories are burned while working out.
11. Variety and fun
tend to get bored with repetitive exercise, but there are many ways to
keep swimming interesting. There are several strokes to master and
flotation aids to try. Also, classes in water aerobics and polo, as well
as racing and diving, can help to add variety.
12. Helping to improve sleep
trial involving older adults with insomnia reported improved sleep in
those who exercised regularly. A 2010 review determined that around half
of the older adult population reports difficulty sleeping. If
accessible, swimming may benefit those who seek better sleep.
13. Boosting moods
releases endorphins, which improve the mood. Swimming may also boost
confidence and social skills, which can impact a person’s self-esteem. A
2014 pilot study involving people with dementia showed that those who
swam regularly in a 12-week period showed an improvement in mood.
14. Managing stress
is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It can also redirect the
mind away from troubling thoughts. Though more research is needed, even
20 minutes of physical activity a week may help a person to feel more
15. Accessible and affordable
towns and cities offer public pools with discounted rates. Some offer
free access at certain times or free swimming lessons. Swimming in a
lake or ocean may be an attractive option. Always take safety
precautions, such as ensuring supervision, when swimming in open waters.
burns calories and can help a person to lose weight, as well as tone
muscles and improve overall health and fitness. By engaging several
different muscle groups and the cardiovascular system, swimming can
provide an excellent workout for a wide variety of individuals.
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues.
He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.