When you mention the word “exercise,” most people will automatically think about gym weights and running or jogging. Very few people consider swimming as an exercise, which is quite sad, as it is one of the most holistic and safest types of exercise.
While common cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, cycling and calisthenics are great for burning calories and building endurance, swimming outshines them in many different ways. For one, it is very cheap to partake in. Secondly, anyone can get into swimming, regardless of age and body type, and it’s also very easy on the joints. This makes it especially suitable for people who may not be able to do other forms of exercise. Further, swimming is arguably more enjoyable than any other exercise.
Why You Should Swim A Lot More for Exercise
The benefits of exercising in the swimming pool go beyond the ones highlighted above. Here are a couple more reasons why we think swimming is the greatest form of exercise:
It Builds Body Endurance and Fortifies Your Lungs
Did you know that swimming could increase the endurance in your lungs as well as tone your muscles? In fact, most of the pro athletes who participate in high impact sports such as marathon running and football are known to be regular swimmers.
In particular, immersing yourself in water repeatedly teaches your lungs to use oxygen more efficiently, which comes in handy when you are running at high speed. It doesn’t stop there; when your lungs are able to use oxygen more effectively and control your breathing, you will not be getting tired easily and will be able to stay alert for longer, even at work.
It Doesn’t Leave You Hot and Sweaty
Not everyone prefers the heavy sweating that normally accompanies most workouts. And to be very honest, sweat smells ( and this can be quite embarrassing), especially when you have to run to work after the gym.
Swimming also gives you all the benefits, and exhaustion, of a regular workout without leaving buckets of smelly sweat on your clothes. Really, which other exercises will work out your entire body (combining cardio and resistance training) and still leave you feeling cool and fresh?
It Tones Your Muscles Just Like Gym Weights!
As you move around the pool, you have to constantly push the large mass of water, which is essentially the same as weight lifting in the gym. And considering that water is denser than air, swimming provides more resistance training than running or hiking, as it takes more energy to move through it.
If you want to enhance your muscle definition, and strength without necessarily getting bulky, you may want to drop the lightweights (you use for toning) and instead, hit the pool at least twice a week. The good thing about swimming for muscle building is that you don’t need to do different exercises for different body parts. A 30-minute breaststroke session will tone your arms, chest, back, and legs simultaneously.
It’s Good For Your Bones
When it comes to muscles and bones, the rule is “use it or lose it.” A sedentary lifestyle could mess up your bone density, leaving you susceptible to injuries, loss of bone mass, and even osteoporosis. Swimming regularly makes use of all your bones and muscles, which keeps them strong and active and thus prevents all those problems.
It’s Very Effective at Burning Calories
One common but wrong assertion is that only high-intensity exercises can help you lose weight. The truth is, some low impact activities such as swimming are also as good as burning calories as weight lifting or jogging. A moderately intense 1-hour swim session burns about 500 calories, – more than you would lose running on the treadmill for the same amount of time – and isn’t as taxing on your body.
It is no secret that swimming is easier to learn and excel at than other exercises, and provides just as much – if not more – enjoyment, and benefits. What more, you can still swim when recovering from an injury, or a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, which would otherwise keep you from doing other workouts such as running or lifting weights.