Working out at the Gym does not grab your fancy, try swimming to stay fit and lose weight
Have you even noticed how children get excited when they are swimming in a pool?
My kids just love it and they can spend hours in the water…
Swimming not only is fun but also has numerous health benefits that have also been scientifically researched.
Let us see how this activity, which is so much fun, can help us in staying fit:
Firstly, we must understand what happens when we are in the water.
When we swim, the water around us provides the following:
- Buoyancy – The water gives us an upthrust due to the volume displaced by our body. This is scientifically called the Archimedes principle. You do not need to remember this, just need to understand that this is the reason why boats and ships stay afloat.
- Resistance – the water around provides added resistance. Try moving your hand through the air and then through the water, you will notice added resistance to movement in the water. This is due to the greater density of the water as compared to the air. To be exact, air at sea level is 784 times less dense than water. (1)
- Cooling – the water all around us provides better cooling than air. This is similar to a car engine where cooling liquid is used to maintain the machine at an optimum temperature.
- If it is in the ocean – Saltwater – The benefits include improving health and wellbeing. The Magnesium in the Saltwater hydrate your skin and improve its appearance. (2)
These things that are natural to a pool or beach, have various benefits associated with them, as follows:
1) Easy on the Body – As we have seen earlier, the buoyancy offer by water will help to support your body and organs while you are swimming. Thus, this form of exercise is less stressful especially when you might be dealing with an injury, sprain or other forms of ailment especially related to joints and mobility. However, you should consult your doctor before starting out on any new exercise program, so as to confirm whether it is safe for you.
In fact, as per this article based on the findings from the Journal for Sports medicine and Physical fitness, it has been found that swimming might be the best method for athletes to recover. (3)
Certain swimming pools are being filled with salt water for Buoyancy so that you might experience the ocean in a confined pool. (4)
2) Good Cardiovascular workout – Now the resistance offered by water helps you in getting a good workout. This effect is cardiovascular in nature and thus is good for the heart.
Related topic – Want to know how to maintain a healthy Heart? – Don’t let your Heart Attack you
3) Helps you stay younger – Research has found that swimmers are biologically younger than persons who do not swim and can be recommended to prevent premature aging. (5)
4) Weight reduction –To put things in perspective, A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming fast, and 413 calories swimming slower.
Though Running and Cycling might burn more calories than swimming, the latter is easy on your joints and swimming being an enjoyable activity can go a long way in gaining leverage towards weight loss.(11)
5) Asthma reduction –
Researchers studied a group of children aged seven to twelve. One group in additional to their asthma medication undertook a six-week swimming program. They found that the swimmers not only reduced their asthma symptoms but also improved normal physical and psychological development. (7)
6) Stress buster – Many people find swimming a stress buster and a form of peaceful exercise. Water in its natural form is very tranquil.
It can also boost you mental Health by shutting out external Stimuli and releasing endorphins. (8)
In a survey conducted by Speedo, it was found that 74% of those surveyed, agreed that swimming helps release stress and tension, 68% said that being in the water helps them to feel good, and 70% agreed that it helps them to feel mentally refreshed. (9)
7) Diabetes control– According to diabeticlifestyle.com, swimming might be the perfect exercise for diabetics. It is especially good for people who have numbness or lack of feeling in their feet as a result of diabetic Neuropathy. (10)
8) Safe when pregnant – A study was conducted on seventeen pregnant women, in their third trimester. Here the Fetal Heart rate was measured before, during and after the swim. The researchers concluded that maternal swimming under such class conditions is safe for the fetus. (6)
More information can be found about Pregnancy and swimming in this article: Swimming and Pregnancy. Swim on, but be careful.
9) No sweat – Some people might be put off by sweat during land-based exercises. Swimming as it is in the water, you will not have to deal with sweat. Another reason to jump in the pool. 🙂
A word of caution:
That being said a water body presents certain challenges and dangers and it is best to be aware of these before venturing out for a swim.
I remember when I was much younger, a group of friends and myself, had played a match of football (Soccer as it is known in the US). Straight after the match, without allowing ourselves to cool down, we jumped into the college pool.
Almost all of us got some sort of muscle cramps. Cramps in a pool are highly dangerous especially if no one is around, as you risk drowning from it. We could have spared ourselves this situation if we had properly cooled down before entering the pool.
So, if you are interested Click on the button below, to download the free booklet regarding “Tips for Staying Safe in a Pool and on the Beach”
Swimming is fun, but for those who do not know how to, it might be a challenge or downright scary. Do not worry, except for people who have learned to swim as a child, this has been the initial reaction. Sign up for a swimming class where an instructor will teach you how to go about swimming. It might seem hard in the beginning, but you will get the hang of it. Later you might not want to leave the pool.
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