The recreational activity of swimming dates back all the way to the Stone Age. It is no coincidence that swimming has been around so long since it offers a wide variety of health benefits that make it great not only for the body, but the mind as well.
Swimming offers many obvious health benefits such as increased strength and lung capacity, but there are many more. Here is a list of the lesser-known health benefits of swimming:
Swimming has the least impact on your skeletal system compared to any other aerobic exercise. When the human body is fully submerged in the water, you only carry around 10 percent of your own weight while the water handles the rest. Since your body is carrying only one tenth of the weight, swimming makes less of an impact on your body.
This is why swimmers can swim incredible distances without any negative impact on their joints or muscles. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people who have sore joints or muscles from arthritis workout in the pool. It has been proven to loosen stiff joints and decrease pain from osteoarthritis.
Increased Mental Health
Water-based exercise can help improve mood in both men and women. Swimming is categorized as a meditative exercise. The constant stretching and relaxing of muscles combined with deep rhythmic breathing has shown to evoke the same relaxation response of the body, as yoga and meditation.
As a result, swimming has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression in those who swim two or more times per week.
If you were looking for another excuse to give up running, we might have one for you. A recent study out of the University of South Carolina discovered that men who actively swam each week had a 50% lower death rate than runners or walkers. The study also concluded that women would receive the same health benefits.
Another study from Northwestern University concluded that swimming could add up to ten years to your life. Death rates from heart disease were nearly 80 percent lower amongst swimmers from the same study.
Swimming is for everyone at any age. If you are interested in recreational swimming or signing your child up for swim classes or swim team, visit our website to locate a pool near you!