Fitnessentials

Teaching you the essentials of fitness and weight loss

Top ten benefits of swimming

I’ll admit it. Until recently, I hadn’t been for a proper swim in years! Like most women, I had swimsuit anxiety, I was so self conscious about being seen in a swimming costume that I avoided it completely. That was until I read a blog post about a woman who, due to swimsuit anxiety missed out on years of playing with her children at the pool  and seaside. I did not want to be that woman. So I bit the bullet and went to a fantastic outdoor heated pool, in an area where I was unlikely to see anyone I knew and just went for it. 50 lengths and 1.8km later, I was feeling utterly fantastic. Taking that one leap of faith has now completely given me the swimming bug. If you’re still not convinced, check out my top ten benefits of swimming below:

 

1. It burns Calories

One of the most appealing aspects of swimming, especially for people looking for weight loss is the amount of calories that it burns. Although it will vary from person to person, it is estimated that an hour of swimming could burn up to 700 calories. For me, an hour of swimming is likely to burn around 500 calories as I tend to take it slowly. However, as with any exercise, if you are burning that many calories it means that, should you build multiple sessions into your weekly schedule and eat correctly, you will soon see some pretty decent results.

If you’re wondering how to fit swimming into your daily routine, many people get up an hour earlier and jump into the pool before work. Alternatively, if you have children then you could always enrol them into swimming lessons and swim at the same time as them

 

2. Improves Heart Health

Swimming is great for your health. It works the heart and lungs. This trains the body to use oxygen more efficiently, which is generally reflected in declines in the resting heart rate and breathing rate. It also strengthens the heart and improves circulation.

 

3. Muscle Toning

Water has more molecules per unit and it is estimated as being 12 times denser than air. That means that the water provides resistance against the movement of your body which helps to tone up your muscles. All strokes will tone up your arms and shoulders, it’s a core workout, especially if you do front crawl or backstroke, it’ll help to strengthen your back muscles, your glutes work along with your hips to propel you through the water and your calves, hamstrings and quads and ankles will also get a workout, meaning shapely legs!

Shortly, we will show you how to do a variety of exercises in the pool to help tone your body.

 

4. Reduces Stress

I think we can all relate to this one. Nothing beats getting into a nice warm swimming pool, and the heat always reminds me of being on holiday.

Furthermore, in a 2012 survey, 74% of people said that swimming helped them release stress. In addition, 68% said that being in the water helped them to feel good about themselves.

So, swimming can help you unwind after a busy day or week at work

 

5. Less Stress On The Body

Swimming is clearly less stressful on the body than many other forms of exercise. As you are buoyant in the water, there is a greatly reduced impact on your joints.

 

6.  Increased Flexibility

Swimming is, in many ways, similar to Yoga. The gentle stretching and flexing of the muscles helps the body to increase flexibility and, as we know, increased flexibility is important in injury prevention.

 

7. Reduces Depression

 

First of all, swimming, compared to other sports, lets you feel energized afterwards. Swimming is also a very social sport. When you start to go to the pool, you quickly get to know the like-minded regulars. To chat about various topics and to exchange swimming tips and tricks while you relax in the water is very enjoyable. The swimming pool is also a place where you can chat with people of all ages, which becomes rare in our society. Because swimming gives you a well-toned body, it also increases your well-being and self-confidence. The contact with the water also improves your mood when you feel tired or depressed. For extra benefit, try swimming outdoors, especially in a heated pool!

 

8. Swimming Could Make You Live Longer

A South Carolina researcher followed 40,547 adults aged 20 to 90 for three decades and found that swimmers were 49% less likely to die than runners.

The research doesn’t make any attempt to explain why this happens. However, it is an interesting study nonetheless.

 

9. Provides a Life Skill

Around 1 in 5 adults in England can’t swim. However, we never know when the time will come where we will need to swim. With all the added benefits of swimming, we often forget that it is a life skill that we might need one day.

 

10. Increased Stamina

Swimming improves our endurance, which will not only help you to see improvements in your fitness and swimming but also in daily life, whether you’re running for a bus or walking up flights of stairs.

 

So there you have it… bite the bullet and jump in the pool – with all these benefits of swimming, you won’t regret it!