How Swimming Benefits Your Body and Your Health

A senior couple enjoying the poolSwimming is one of the most popular recreational activities. In fact, prehistoric cultures have been known to engage in the activity, even depicting it in art forms like painting as early as 10,000 years ago during the Stone Age. Similarly, the Egyptians also made a written record of the recreational activity in their hieroglyphics as early as 4,500 years ago. But its popularity and long history aside, did you know that swimming is also highly recommended by health experts because of the benefits it affords people’s well-being?

Swimming is a low-cost activity which you can carry out throughout the year. Even if you don’t have a private pool of your own in your home, you have the option of swimming in a public pool, in a lake, or at the beach. Furthermore, swimming is a low-impact activity that conditions your body physically and mentally. These advantages are discussed in detail below.

The Many Benefits of Swimming

Decreases the risk of chronic illnesses – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that engaging in just two and a half hours of aerobic physical activity every week can reduce one’s risk of chronic illnesses and improve the health of people already with diabetes and heart diseases.  Aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, and running.

  • Helps you live longer – In connection with the abovementioned benefit, people who swim regularly also have only about half the risk of death compared to people who are inactive.
  • Improves mental health – The CDC also notes that water-based exercises help improve people’s mental health and enhance the mood in both men and women. There is also evidence that swimming benefits the mental health of mothers of unborn children, decreases anxiety in people with fibromyalgia, and improves family connections among parents and children with developmental disabilities.
  • Low-impact exercise – Regular exercises can be hard for people with physical or medical conditions or those who find them painful and unbearable. That’s why swimming is a good alternative to land exercises. Water provides cushioning for the joints and bones of people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other chronic conditions, allowing them to stay fit despite their physical limitations.
  • Rehabilitation for injuries – Athletes and other people can use swimming to rehabilitate after suffering an injury. Water can help improve athletes’ range of motion and help them keep fit while recovering from an injury.
  • Improves health of older adults– The CDC also notes that water-based exercises can reduce disability among older individuals, thereby helping improve their quality of life. Additionally, post-menopausal women can also enjoy better bone health by engaging in swimming exercises.
  • It is enjoyable – Surveys show that people find water-based activities more enjoyable than land-based exercises. This translates to longer time exercising without the disadvantages of additional effort or pain in joints, muscles, and bones.

Simply put, swimming is a great way to relax or to cool down during a hot day. It’s a low-cost activity which you can do any time of the year. For people who want to be more active with less risk for injuries and pain, swimming is the perfect choice. However, make sure to observe healthy and safe swimming practices all the time.

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