Learning to swim well opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Scuba diving, snorkeling, wakeboarding, skiing, wake surfing, rafting, and fishing are all water activities. Swimming gives you the ability to have adventures on and near the water, without fear. Besides all of that, swimming also has some really great health benefits. Here are just a couple of the many ways going for a swim regularly can improve your health.
The older we get, the more movement affects our bodies. This can make it quite difficult to do back-to-back intense workouts. Swimming, however, is very low impact. This enables you to get more out of your workouts without causing yourself a lot of soreness and pain.
If swimming isn’t your main workout, that’s okay! Studies show that swimming is an excellent recovery exercise too. If you’ve lifted heavily one day, going for an easy swim the next can help reduce muscle soreness, speed recovery, and let you get back in the gym faster. Plus, it can be nice to change it up so you’re not over-working certain muscle groups.
Full Body Workout
Swimming is an aerobic workout that many people would classify as cardio, but because of the resistance effect of the water it also can help strengthen muscles. Since you use your arms, legs, and core when you swim, it offers you a full body workout. Since you’re not constantly breathing when you swim, it can also help increase your lung capacity. Different strokes target different muscles. If you’re looking to exercise certain muscles, you can always try different strokes.
- Freestyle (or crawl)- legs and deltoids
- Breaststroke- thighs, gluteal muscles, and biceps
- Butterfly- abdominal muscles, deltoids, leg muscles
- Backstroke- triceps and leg muscles
Improve Your Fitness Level
Swimming regularly can help you improve your fitness level, regardless of where you are in your exercise journey. You can start with something as small as 5-10 minutes of laps and gradually work your way up. It all depends on your comfort level.
More advanced swimmers can use interval training. There are also devices that can be used to increase the resistance to further strengthen your muscles and give you a more challenging workout.
So, think you’re ready to get the workout of your life?
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