1. Managing Your Weight
Swimming burns more calories in 30 minutes than walking, cycling or even running. You can burn 367 calories swimming breaststroke for half an hour. Depending on stroke an speed, you can burn more. It’s a great excuse to get out of the crowded gym!
2. Building Strength
The resistance of the water is 44 times more than air. During swimming, muscles need to overcome this resistance repeatedly to move through the water. Therefore, with consistent swimming, muscles adapt which in turn increase strength. Plus there is no need to use any equipment such as weights, bands or machines.
3. Reducing Stress Levels
In a survey by Speedo, 74% of people agreed that swimming releases stress and tension. Swimming focuses your mind on movement and requires a lot of coordination. This can take your mind off of everyday stresses and help you to feel relaxed. It also releases a stress reducing hormone which helps to control stress and anxiety. This can give you a sense of relaxation usually occurring 90 minutes after your swim.
4. Boosting Self Esteem
Working towards goals in and out of the pool is a great way to feel more positive about yourself and boost self-esteem. In a study by Speedo, 68% of people said that being in the water helps them to feel good about themselves. A further 70% of people said they feel mentally refreshed after swimming.
5. Uplifting Our Mood
Studies show that swimmers of any level are less prone to tension, depression, and anger after swimming. This is due to the release of the feel-good hormone serotonin. That means that those new to swimming can feel just as good as the professionals!
6. Low Impact Exercise
During swimming, the water buoyancy bears around 90% of your body weight. This means that there is much less pressure going through joints, bones, and muscles compared to other sports. It also makes it a great form of whole-body exercise for people of all ages and a great way to strengthen muscles if you have arthritis or joint pain.
7. A Better Nights Sleep
Swimming is the only form of exercise that uses all of the muscles in te body. This is regardless of the stroke, speed or intensity you are swimming. Because of this, your body is using up a lot of energy which can aid sleeping. It has been shown by the National Sleep Foundation that people who take part in swimming are around twice as likely to have a good night’s sleep. They are also less likely to report sleep problems like insomnia.
8. Sweat Free Exercise
The thought of being hot and pawing off sweat after a run or gym session for some people can be exciting. However for some, such as myself, the prospect of it is much the opposite. Luckily, as a swimmer, you will never feel like you are overheating or sweating because of the cool water around you!
9. Lower Disease Risk
As some of you may already know, swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. However, it has also been shown to control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and reduce levels of bad cholesterol. Regularly swimming can lower the risk of developing illnesses such type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
10. Low Injury Risk
Due to the low impact, lack of contact and predictable environment of swimming the injury risk is low. So if you are someone that has suffered injuries in the past or are worried about the risk of injury, swimming is a great alternative.
By guest article writer: Harley Greer (Swimming Coach and Sports Therapy Student)