Outdoor access to bodies of water during summer months tends to bring attention to swimming, but this is an exercise that is truly beneficial year-round. The health benefits are numerous, and it’s great for all skill levels. Young and old can enjoy this type of workout with friends and family — and you might even forget that you’re getting a killer workout because you’re having so much fun. Whether you’re enjoying the beach or a lake outside in warmer months, or hitting up a public pool or workout class in colder months, you’ll be baffled at the various good-for-you benefits you can get during a good swim.
It’s easy on the joints.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise, meaning that the buoyancy you achieve in the water assists in relieving pressure on the joints. Because of this, people who suffer from joint pain, arthritis or various other injuries can feel relief while they’re in the water.
It can aid in injury recovery.
Because this low-impact exercise relieves pressure on the joints, it’s a go-to exercise for those recovering from injuries. This physical therapist-approved exercise can also help with range of motion, so it could be particularly beneficial for people recovering from shoulder, knee or ankle injuries.
It’s suitable for all fitness levels.
Whether you’re a world-class athlete, someone recovering from an injury or brand new to working out, a good swim can be just the workout for you. Beginners can try exercises like the backstroke, while more well-versed swimmers can try advanced moves like the butterfly stroke.
It’s a total body workout.
Everyone knows that you’ll be working your arms and legs during a swim, but it’s truly a total body workout. Your glutes and core work to stabilize your body with each kick, and the large back muscles are strengthened through the rotation motions used with each stroke. Your whole body is working the entire time you’re swimming.
It’s good for the lungs.
Since you’re controlling your breathing during this type of exercise, it improves your lung capacity over time. Also, because it is a cardio workout, it lowers your risk of heart disease.
As with any type of exercise while pregnant, you should consult your doctor to make sure swimming is right for you. However, swimming is generally an exercise that allows women to exercise comfortably because the water helps alleviate joint pain caused by pregnancy. It’s also safe to do in all trimesters.
It’s good for the brain, too.
The body isn’t the only thing that benefits from swimming. This sport has been known to reduce anxiety levels and can even have positive effects on sleep patterns. Whether it’s the rhythmic strokes or concentrating on your breathing, swimming has meditative-like qualities that benefit overall brain health.