The Health Benefits of Swimming  

by Pool Builders on 02-16-2014 in Articles

Swimming is actually one of the most popular recreational activities in the US and around the world, and everyone knows that swimming is one of the best ways to exercise€"just half an hour of this activity is already known to decrease your chances of getting chronic illnesses. Of course, while those who actually swim get the most out of the swimming pool, non-swimmers are also entitled to health benefits via a water-based exercise due to the therapeutic effects of water.

The good thing about swimming pools or bodies of water in general is that you'll get the ability to do more for less. Now, to further explain this, swimming offers something much more than aerobics€"working out without dishing out harsh impacts to your skeletal system. This is due to the fact that the human body, once immersed in water, automatically becomes much lighter. Specifically, when your body is submerged up to the waist, your body just supports 50 of your weight; submerge yourself to the chest and you'll only support 25-35 percent; get your whole body (except the head) inside the water and you're supporting only 10 percent of your weight. This means that even if you're a person who doesn't really exercise that much, you'll be able to exercise a lot easier even if you have stiff muscles or sore joints. Obese people are actually recommended to do exercises in the pool as a means of losing weight faster without exerting so much effort.

In line with this, it is also recommended for people with arthritis since it stretches and strengthens the muscles and gives an aerobic workout with less effort. Further, heated pools are much better suited for those who suffer from arthritis because it helps loosen up those stiff joints. Actually, people inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis benefit more from water therapy by swimming or performing other aerobic exercises in the water. Compared to other standard activities, routine water exercise has been proven to improve the affected joints and diminishes pain caused by osteoarthritis but with less straining.

If you're a healthy person who would like to get buff, swimming is the best way to train up your body. After all, even if you are not knowledgeable of the benefits offered by this recreational activity, you can see hard evidence when looking at swimmers: not a single one of them looks weak. The reason why swimming is much better at improving muscular strength and increasing its mass is because every kick and arm stroke you make is considered resistance exercise. It's even more effective than running€"a runner only moves himself through air, but a swimmer propels himself through water, which is twelve times thicker than air. Furthermore, it also improves bone mass, thus preventing the onset of osteoporosis.

Swimming also provides a full-body flexibility exercise incomparable to those gym machines that only hone an isolated body part at any given time. This is because this activity requires a broad range of motion which helps the joints and ligaments stay flexible and loose. With the arms moving in wide arcs, the hips engaging as the legs move about scissoring through the water, the head and the spine twisting from side to side, lengthening the body with each stroke and stretching your whole body, provides the most comprehensive exercise aimed at improving flexibility.

Visible muscles like the pectorals, triceps and quadriceps benefit greatly from swimming but in addition to that, this activity is also good for the most important muscle in our body€"the heart. Basically, this is because swimming is an aerobic exercise, as stated earlier. It serves to strengthen the heart, making it more efficient in its pumping, which ultimately leads to an improved vascular circulation. Aerobic exercise is also linked to the prevention of inflammatory reactions, which reduces the risks of heart disorders. The American Heart Association states that even half an hour's worth of swimming is enough to reduce about 30 to 40 percent risk of developing coronary heart disease in women and could even reduce blood pressure.

Lastly, swimming is now considered to be the biggest fat burner around, which is great if you want to keep a slim figure or are trying to lose those excess pounds. The burned calories depend on your figure and how hard you exercise. Generally, within 10 minutes of swimming, you can burn calories based on the stroke you're using€"breast stroke burns 60 calories; backstroke disintegrates 80; freestyle incinerates up to a hundred; and butterfly strokes could torch 150.

With these benefits, no wonder swimming is one of the most famous recreational sports around the world. In fact, it does not only give a lot of physical benefits but it also triggers the release of the feel-good hormone called endorphins, increasing your happiness levels and relaxes you in general. Now that may explain why people in the pool or at the beach are always happy! So, what are you waiting for? Plunge in and exercise those stiff joints and tensed muscles!

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