With summer fast approaching, there’s no better time to get up and partake in a sport or activity that you wouldn’t usually consider. While you might not fancy running around on a pitch or court, the warmer temperatures are perfect for cooling off and keeping fit in a pool – so why not take up swimming?
As well as being a fun social activity, swimming offers a range of health benefits that all contribute to boosting your Health Score. Here’s how:
Swimming is great for increasing strength and toning muscles. That’s because water is 800 times denser than air, meaning any cardiovascular exercise you perform in water needs a greater effort from the body than on land.
Working out in water creates a controlled resistance that is relative to the force you are pushing the water with.
When you go to the gym, you might only target one specific area of your body; but when you swim, many of the body’s muscles are used at once. You need to perform on a higher level in your movement degree of freedom. This contributes towards improving your levels of flexibility in muscles and joints.
Different strokes require your arms and legs to produce specific motions, allowing you to elongate and stretch your body as you reach out further with each stroke.
Swimming classes such as aqua aerobics and aqua Zumba are great for keeping the body in shape and enhancing flexibility, so it’s a good idea to keep your eye open for these taking place at your local health and leisure centre.
As you swim, the water works to support your bodyweight without causing pressure or strain. This is ideal for those who are overweight or may be recovering from an injury as it makes for a good workout without the risk of overdoing it or creating any further physical problems. However, always and exclusively swim training is not optimal too, as you reduce the stress to the bones with time. Bones need to have a certain stress and strain to remain strong and healthy.
Swimming doesn’t only create less physical stress though; Swimming has a great effect on creating mental tranquillity as being almost weight less does boost the feeling of wellbeing. by boosting endorphins in the body that contribute to feelings of happiness and increased wellbeing.
Swimming is great for burning calories and keeping weight under control. While the exact number of calories you burn will depend on the intensity at which you choose to exercise, in general, ten minutes of swimming breaststroke for a 70 kg person will burn around 120 calories; backstroke will burn around 110 calories; and butterfly stroke torches an impressive 160 calories.