Along with being a fun recreational activity, swimming regularly has a number of benefits for your health. It’s also a versatile exercise with various levels of difficulty, depending on what you’re looking for. This makes it easy to continue swimming even into your later years. For this month’s health blog, I’d like to highlight how swimming can benefit your health and how to stay safe while you’re in the water.
Benefits of Recreational Swimming
You don’t have to take swimming too seriously to see the health benefits. Even people who swim regularly for fun can see both their physical and mental health improve as a result. So even if you just come out to the pool during summer weekends to cool off, you can improve your health while having fun. Try some different strokes while you’re doing laps in the pool, such as a breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, or freestyle.
Swimming At A Competitive Level
For more serious swimmers, the health benefits are even more pronounced. A regular swimming routine comes with all of the benefits of a strenuous gym workout, helping develop strength and flexibility all throughout the body. The competition also adds a whole new level of excitement to swimming. Swimming competitions come in various forms, from basic 50-meter indoor pool races to longer open-water swims.
How Does Swimming Improve Your Health?
Swimming is an excellent full-body workout and in our opinion, much more enjoyable than a regular weightlifting routine. There are a number of specific ways that swimming regularly can contribute to better health:
- Boosts your heart rate during the workout
- Low-impact stress workout
- Helps improve endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness
- Helps maintain a healthy weight, heart, and lungs
- Builds muscle tone and strength
- Nearly all muscles are worked during swimming
- Reduces stress
- Improves coordination, balance, and posture
- Improves flexibility
- Easily accessible, with swimming pools, beaches, lakes, dams, and rivers available depending on your geographic area.
- A relaxing and fun way to exercise
Staying Safe When You Swim
While swimming can be a more fun and relaxing way to exercise, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. But as long as you follow some basic safety rules, you should be fine:
Be Aware Of Your Swimming Ability
If you’re not a strong swimmer, don’t try to push yourself too hard. If you’re just learning for the first time, consider getting professional instruction. This can help you develop your skills much more quickly and allow you to swim for exercise on your own. There’s nothing wrong with swimming laps in the shallow end until you feel comfortable enough to go deeper.
Have A Pre-Swim Warm Up Routine
Before you dive in, it’s important to warm up and stretch your joints and muscles. This will help prevent cramps or injuries while you’re in the water.
Make sure to bring plenty of water or other hydrating fluids with you and drink them regularly. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated while swimming can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re swimming in nature.
For Older Swimmers: Talk With Your Doctor First
If you’re a senior citizen and you haven’t exercised in a while but are considering starting a swimming routine, speak with your doctor first. Swimming is a safe activity for most seniors, but you should make sure that you don’t have any health risks or conditions which could make it a dangerous one for you.