Swimming for Health

Do you know how to swim? It’s a popular sport, but one that has perhaps not been given its full due as a very healthy pursuit. Here are a few reasons why swimming can be an excellent addition to your health regimen:

Low Impact

People with certain debilitating physical conditions and senior citizens have trouble doing certain exercises. However, swimming is often an option for these individuals, thanks to the fact that it is low impact.

The buoyancy of water means that your bones, muscles, and joints don’t have to work as hard as they do when you are on land. Fortunately, these parts of your body still gain all of the exercise benefits in the process.

Blood Pressure Benefits

High blood pressure is a problem plaguing a distressingly large percentage of the population. There can be various reasons for this, but lack of exercise is a common component. Swimming allows people who find other exercises challenging to get in the amount of physical activity they require to keep their blood pressure at a manageable rate. Added bonus benefit: 90 minutes of swimming per week is a great at lowering your levels of the so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Cardio and Strength Training

Want to build muscle mass and increase your endurance? Swimming is great for those, too. While the buoyancy of water makes it possible to do certain exercises that would otherwise be prohibitive, it also makes exercising more challenging. Reason? It’s tougher to move through water than through air, so that resistance increases the amount of work (and benefits!).

Mental Health

One common component of depression is that the person largely stops doing things, including regular exercise. That is self-defeating because exercise generates serotonin, the brain’s “feel good” chemical, which helps to lessen the effects of depression. Swimming is also an enjoyable activity and less high pressure than some exercises, which may encourage people with depression to try it.