Health Benefits of Swimming

16 July, 2020
There are various health benefits associated with swimming. It's no surprise that it's traditionally dominated as the most complete sport.

The health benefits of swimming are derived from the completeness of this sport. The movements not only exercise your body but also provide mental relaxation and free you from stress.

We can’t reduce swimming to solely the act of jumping into a pool and moving your arms. Following an athletic plan, preferably one designed with a trainer, ensures that there are greater benefits for your health.

There’s also something called “therapeutic swimming”. This is for cases in which certain illnesses have swimming in their treatment plans as part of their approach. An example is certain rheumatic illnesses, where water is proven to alleviate pain in the joints.

The health benefits of swimming are for people of any age. A child can begin their journey with swimming from a very young age. There are even swimming classes for newborns! It’s possible for elderly people to learn to swim too, even if they’ve never done it before.

If we pay attention to the general recommendations for healthy sports practice, the minimum recommendation for swimming is 30 minutes a day, three times a week. This, of course, has to be adapted depending on the availability of the pool and the schedule of the person.

Benefits of swimming for the musculoskeletal system

The primary benefit of swimming is its effect on the skeletal and articular system as well as the muscles. The work that swimming demands of the body as a whole affects every part of the body, including the trunk.

Flexibility also notably increases with swimming. The joints gain elasticity and range of motion. Several scientific studies show this effect on the largest articulatory zones, such as the shoulders.

Swim resistance

We have to remember that in the water, the physics that usually rules the body is altered, including sensation and lightness. Float-ability supports the largest part of the bodyweight, which reduces the effort that the bones must exert in order to support the body.

It’s precisely this combination of float-ability and an increase in flexibility that alleviates pain from the lower back. For this reason, one of the first pieces of medical advice for patients with lumbar pain is that they don’t stop exercising, especially swimming.

Cardiorespiratory benefits

Swimming is one of the aerobic sports, such as running. In these types of sports, the lung capacity progressively improves. The heart also adapts it’s functioning to increase the availability of oxygen to the cells.

In swimmers, the respiratory dynamic is very important. Part of swim training consists of dominating the breathing technique. The goal is to be able to time your arm strokes with the time your mouth is out of the water in order to get oxygen.

This aerobic exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system. LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) lowers with aerobic exercise, while HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) raises. This balance helps ward off arterial blockages and increases blood flow to the entire body.

A heart that’s been strengthened through months of swimming exercises will be more adept at pushing the blood throughout the body while using less force. It won’t be as taxed while doing its job. This can lengthen the useful lifespan of the cardiac muscle.

Stress and swimming

As we mentioned, one of the health benefits of swimming is that it strengthens your respiratory technique and lung capacity. Breathing is the key to control for stressful situations, so in this way, swimming can positively influence your psychological wellbeing.

Swim warm-up

Reducing stress through swimming is also beneficial for cardiovascular health. The less stress a person has, the lower their risk of suffering a cardiac event. 

Many people use their swimming schedules as a way to reduce their work stress. It’s even recommended to swim when you leave work before arriving at home. This is because it can help to clear your mind and free yourself from the tensions of the day.

If this sport is practiced with enthusiasm, it can also free up endorphins in the body, which are the pleasure substances of the brain. Endorphins make you feel euphoria and happiness, as well as acting as natural anti-inflammatories.

The benefits of swimming are for everyone

There isn’t a certain age needed to take advantage of the health benefits of swimming. This is why it’s a sport that can stimulate kids, adults, and the elderly. 

It’s recommended to do this with a trainer or a monitor who can guide the process in order to reap the largest benefits. If we’re consistent, we can lower the risk of cardiovascular incidents and increase the capacity of the locomotor system.

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