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The Water’s Fine: 10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Swimming for Exercise

The Water’s Fine: 10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Swimming for Exercise

19th Jul 2023

It isn’t easy to find something that’s both fun and good for you – but swimming is one of those things!

In addition to being a great way to cool off, swimming is good exercise. You can burn 300 to 600 calories in an hour in the pool, depending on your weight, stroke and speed.

“Plus, exercising in water makes your body work harder so 30 minutes in a pool is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land,” notes

Here are 10 important health benefits of swimming:

Cardiovascular Fitness

Swimming is a fantastic exercise that's great for your heart and overall cardiovascular health. It gets your heart pumping, improves lung capacity and boosts circulation. Therefore, swim workouts can lower your risk for heart disease and improve your overall cardiovascular fitness.

Full-Body Workout

Swimming is an activity that engages multiple muscle groups at once, giving you a complete full-body workout. It tones and strengthens muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, core, hips and legs. Different swimming strokes target different muscle groups, helping you achieve balanced muscle development and strength.

seniors using colorful pool noodles during a water exercise class

Low Impact on Joints

As a low-impact exercise, swimming is gentle on your joints. This makes it an ideal choice if you have joint pain, arthritis or injuries. The water's buoyancy reduces stress on your joints while still providing an effective workout, decreasing the risk of joint-related injuries.

But take it easy, advises the Mayo Clinic. Because exercise in water can seem so much easier, you may be tempted to spend a longer time in the pool. Be conscious not to overstress your body.

Weight Management

Many people enjoy swimming for weight loss. Because swimming burns calories and boosts your metabolism, it can be an effective way to manage your weight and maintain a healthy body. Regular swimming can help reduce body fat and improve your body composition.

Flexibility and Range of Motion

Water’s resistance promotes flexibility and range of motion. When you swim, you are stretching and extending muscles. The movements you make while swimming or doing water exercises can increase joint flexibility, improve muscle elasticity and enhance your overall range of motion.

Improved Respiratory Health

Swimming involves controlled breathing techniques, which can improve your lung capacity and respiratory function. It strengthens your respiratory muscles, increases the efficiency of oxygen uptake and may even benefit conditions like asthma and allergies.

woman relaxing, floating on her back in the pool

Stress Relief and Mental Health

Swimming is a relaxing and enjoyable activity that can be good for your mental health. The rhythmic movements, the soothing sensation of being in the water and the release of endorphins during exercise all contribute to improved mental well-being, elevated mood and overall stress relief.

Plus, swimming can be a fun social activity to enjoy with friends and family. If you swim at a fitness center, club or spa, water exercise classes also can be a great way to meet new people!

Enhanced Coordination and Balance

The process of moving your arms, legs and body to propel yourself in the water can enhance your coordination and balance. This is especially beneficial for people who have conditions affecting balance or coordination, such as Parkinson's disease.

Improved Strength, Endurance and Mobility

Swimming works all of the major muscle groups in your body, so it can help to build strength and endurance. This can be helpful for people of all ages, but it is especially beneficial for older adults who are looking to maintain their mobility. There’s little risk of falling and injuring yourself while you’re in the pool. Just be careful getting in and out!

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

By improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation and helping maintain a healthy weight, a swimming exercise routine can decrease the risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

If you’ve been looking for an exercise activity you can really enjoy, go ahead and take a dip in the pool! With all its potential benefits, swimming for exercise can help improve your health and your state of mind.

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