Swimming, the mother of all exercises as it’s known for it’s a perfect exercise, helps attain all benefits of an aerobic workout without inflicting any damage to the joints. This hence, is an apt workout for any age group, be it very young or very old.
Wanna know more about what swimming does to you? Keep reading further.
1) Helps build muscle strength and bone mass
Swimming has rich health benefits with striking features being the impact on muscle definition and strength all over the body. While running might help you build lower body muscle strength and a few other sports, upper body; swimming through its holistic nature helps the entire body.
While the legs kick, the arms pull. As the back reaches and rotates, the stomach tightens to power the legs and stabilize the core, making swimming one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body workout.
And as per latest research, swimming helps build bone mass which was assumed to be impacted only through weight bearing exercises.
2) Helps in flexibility
Swimming by nature requires one to stretch the body parts in different directions and the fact that one reaches, stretches, twists, and pulls his/her way through the water; it facilitates repeated stretching drill, hence, helping with better flexibility.
3) Swimming makes you smarter
It’s a myth that only studies make you smarter. Sports go a long way in that direction and studies time and again, have pointed in that direction. But amongst all sports, swimming stands out with a recent study from Australia suggesting that swimming helps you get smarter than practicing any other sport.
The study showed that kids who regularly participated in swimming were able to master language development, fine motor skills, confidence, and physical development sooner than their counterparts. A good enough reason to send you kids to the pool?
4) Lowers stress and depression
In an age where there is so much competition, peer-pressure, work pressure, etc., stress and depression are a common phenomenon but something that is quite dangerous and need to be tackled instantly.
Here’s swimming to the rescue!
Though sports in general gives you a high that helps relieve stress and depression, swimming does just that bit extra. In addition to providing all those feel-good emotions, swimming helps release happy hormones, helping one relax similar to how one feels post yoga. Stretching, which swimming facilitates, combined with deep rhythmic breathing helps one relax like none other.
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Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by, helps you focus inward and drown out all other distractions. This lowers stress and depression naturally. Research also shows that swimming can reverse damage to the brain from stress through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis.
So the next time you feel you’re drowning in depression, take a dip in water and let the depression drown and you ease your way out.
5) Burns calories
Swimming is one of the most high intensity sport and though it may not appear that way, it can help burn more calories than even running.
Expect to burn around 367 calories after just 30 minutes of breaststroke – that beats walking, cycling and even running.
For 10 minutes of swimming one burns 60 calories with the breast stroke, 80 calories with the backstroke, 100 calories with freestyle, and an impressive 150 with the butterfly stroke. For perspective, running a 10-minute mile burns around 100 calories. Therefore, a strong 30-min butterfly speed session can burn 150 more calories than running a 5K in the same time frame.
6) Lengthens Life
Though any sport helps with a fit health and mind and results in a longer life, swimming stretches it a bit more.
Studies in the US suggested that swimmers had a 50% lower death rate than runners and walkers.
Motivated now? Jump in!
7) Sweat Free
Unlike other sports where one sweats all over, swimming helps control that cooling one down constantly and in fact feel good about things.
8) Improves sleeping patterns
All you insomniacs, swimming is your best medicine. Studies have shown a person who swims is twice more likely to catch good sleep than the others.
So here’s a simple solution to your sleeping late or waking up early; take a dip in the pool!