Swimming is one of the few sports that allow you to use every muscle at the same time, offering you the great benefit of working out all muscle groups in just one workout.
Swimming also trains the body to use oxygen more efficiently, which improves lung and heart functions and lowers the resting heart rate.
Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, confirms that swimming can be a great complement to strength training since it improves cardiovascular fitness.
This also means it is good for individuals with arthritis because it is less weight-bearing, along with the fact that it can improve a person’s mental state by putting them in a better mood.
By letting the mind drift and focusing on controlling breathing and movement, there is indeed a relaxing, meditative element to swimming.
Two studies from the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, which are part of a massive study known as the “Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study,” clearly demonstrate the health benefits of swimming.
One study compared blood pressure, cholesterol levels, maximum energy output and other measures of cardiovascular health across nearly 46,000 male and female walkers, runners, swimmers and “couch potatoes.”
Swimmers had the best numbers.
The second study looked at deaths among 40,547 men, ages 20 to 90. Over an average of 13 years of follow-up from 1970 to 2003, only 2 percent of the swimmers died, compared with 8 percent of runners, 9 percent of walkers and 11 percent of non-exercisers.
Swimming is also great to keep the figure trim or to lose weight. An hour of moderate swimming can burn around 500 calories. This activity revs up metabolism, continuing the burn well after you have stepped out of the pool.
Check out the following infographic out for further information and evidence about the water exercise.
Cover credit: Swimmingworldmagazine.com