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.

 

 

 

Don’t Forget to Relax

That probably seems like an odd title for an article. I mean, who forgets to relax? Well, you might be surprised to know that many of us are not taking the necessary time to relax each day. That can have consequences for both our physical and mental well-being. Here are just a few reasons why you need to set aside some time each day to do nothing but relax.

Heart health

We all know that high blood pressure is bad for your heart. There are many things that can cause this condition, including a lack of proper relaxation. So, sitting around and “doing nothing” can actually have some heart benefits. Just do not do it excessively because you still need a proper amount of exercise every day.

Brain health

Just like you can overdo it with your body, it is entirely possible to overwork your brain. That affects your decision-making skills and accuracy, and not in a positive way. Also, failure to properly relax can lead to such mental health conditions as depression and anxiety, as well as frequent and debilitating headaches.

Sleep health

Trying to sleep when your mind and body are not in a state of relaxation often results in substandard sleep or even no sleep at all. Not getting a proper rest at night negatively impacts both your mind and your body, and can have seriously negative effects on both.

Stomach health

You have probably heard the expression “my stomach is tied up in knots.” While that does not literally happen, prolonged tension is bad for your stomach because it can lead to conditions like ulcers. Prolonged anxiety can also make you feel sick to your stomach, which is certainly unpleasant. No one likes to feel ill, so take some time to relax and allow your inner systems to slow to a crawl.