Swimming: the world’s number one water sport
Swimming is a great, low-impact exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. You don’t need to train competitively and become the next Michael Phelps in order to reap the multiple health benefits that come with swimming regularly. Even if you haven’t been in the pool for years, it doesn’t take much to go down to your local leisure centre and swim a few lengths. Before you know it, you’ll be swimming faster and longer than you’d expected and this will pay dividends for your health in later life! If you’re considering getting in shape, particularly with the summer on the horizon, why not consider swimming? You’re sure to tone up and shed some pounds by going swimming for half an hour, 3-5 times a week!
Anyone can do it
No matter your level of fitness, age or previous experience, there will be swimming classes which cater for your needs. You don’t need to go and purchase a tennis racket, golf club or boxing gloves, just a swimsuit or a pair of swim shorts and you’re ready to go! Because anyone can participate, swimming is a great activity for family bonding – the elderly grandparent can get just as much out of swimming as the physically active teenager, or the parent looking to get some exercise in outside their sedentary office job.
It’s no secret that swimmers have some of the best physiques on the planet, and for good reason. In comparison to other low-impact cardio exercises such as jogging or cycling, swimming is more effective at burning calories. Find out how many calories you can burn today with your favourite swimming stroke. When you’re closer to your ideal body weight you also feel better mentally, so swimming has a positive effect on your self-esteem too!
Good for the heart
Cardiovascular activities such as swimming are great for the health of your heart. Since swimming works the entire body, your heart and lungs are stimulated to pump oxygen to all the different areas, meaning your cardiovascular system stays in good shape. Regular swimming will result in lower blood pressure and will also reduce cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Builds muscle mass
With the exception of people who regularly participate in resistance training, swimming is a great way to build muscle mass and tone up. Because swimming works out the entire body, you’re likely to get a very aesthetically pleasing physique if you swim regularly and eat healthily. Because swimming is such a low-impact exercise, it’s often recommended for injured athletes who are looking to stay fit without the risk of their injury worsening.
There’s always new things to learn
If you’re bored of aimlessly swimming lengths at your local pool with your prefered stroke, why not change things up a bit? There are many different strokes to master, such as: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, side-stroke and more! Getting to an intermediate level at swimming might encourage you to start taking swimming competitively, or branch out into a related sport such as water polo, water volleyball or canoeing.
So, what are you waiting for? Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to make a change for the better. After all, it’s not only about looking good on the beach, but also feeling healthy when you’re older too!
(Photo by Alvimann)