Physical and mental benefits of swimming

You may have heard that experts recommend adults get 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise your entire body and cardiovascular system. An hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without affecting your bones and joints.
Swimming is the fourth most popular activity in the United States. But why exactly? There are a range of benefits that you may reap from swimming regularly. Read on to learn about the benefits of swimming and how to incorporate swimming into your routine.

1. It works on your whole body
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it really works your entire body, from head to toe. swimming:
Increases your heart rate without stressing your body
muscle tones
build strength
Builds stamina
There are several strokes you can use to add variety to your swimming exercises, including:
my chest
Each focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim in, you are using most of your muscle groups to move your body in the water.
2. The insides work too
While your muscles get a good workout, so does your cardiovascular system. Swimming strengthens your heart and lungs. Swimming is so beneficial to you that researchers sharing it may reduce your risk of death. Compared to inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death. Some other studies have shown that swimming may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.
3. Suitable for people with injuries, arthritis and other conditions
Swimming can be a safe exercise option for people with:
Other issues that make high-impact exercise difficult
Swimming may also help reduce some of the pain or improve your recovery from an injury. One study showed that people with osteoarthritis reported significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness, and had less physical limitations after engaging in activities such as swimming and cycling.
Most interestingly, there was little or no difference in benefits between the two groups. Therefore, swimming appears to have many of the same benefits as frequently prescribed land exercises. If you like to do water activities other than swimming, try these water exfoliators for people with arthritis.
4. A good choice for asthma patients
The humid environment of indoor swimming pools makes swimming a great activity for people with asthma. Not only that, but the breathing exercises associated with this sport, such as holding your breath, may help expand your lung capacity and control your breathing.
Some studies suggest that swimming may increase the risk of asthma due to the chemicals used in swimming pool treatments. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks of swimming if you have asthma, and if possible, find a pool that uses salt water instead of chlorine.
5. Good for people with MS too
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) may also find swimming helpful. Water helps refresh the extremities, which helps support them during exercise. Water also provides gentle resistance.
In one study, a 20-week swimming program significantly reduced pain for people with MS. These people also showed improvement with symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and disability. Learn more about hydrotherapy for MS.
6. calorie torches
Swimming is an effective way to burn calories. A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories per hour while swimming at a low or moderate pace. The same person may burn up to 715 calories per hour while swimming at a more vigorous pace. A 200-pound person doing the same activities will burn between 528 and 892 calories per hour. A 240-pound person might burn between 632 and 1068.
To compare these numbers to other common low-impact activities, the same 160-pound person would only burn about 314 calories walking at 3.5 mph for 60 minutes. Yoga may only burn 183 calories per hour. And an elliptical trainer might burn just 365 calories in that hour.
7. Improves your sleep
Swimming may have the ability to help you sleep better at night. In a study of older adults with insomnia, participants reported improved quality of life and sleep after regular aerobic exercise.
Nearly 50 percent of seniors have some level of insomnia, so that’s excellent news. The study focused on all types of aerobic exercise, including elliptical videos, stairs, bike, pool, and aerobics.
Swimming is available to a wide range of people who are dealing with physical problems that make other exercises, such as running, less attractive. This can make swimming a good option for seniors looking to improve their sleep.
8. Boosts your mood
The researchers evaluated a small group of people with dementia and noted an improvement in mood after participating in a 12-week hydration program. Swimming and water exercise are not only psychologically beneficial for people with dementia. Exercise has been shown to boost mood in other people, too.
9. Helps manage stress
Researchers surveyed a group of swimmers immediately before and after swimming at the YMCA in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Of the 101 people surveyed, 44 reported experiencing mild depression and feelings of stress related to a fast-paced life. After swimming, the number of people still experiencing stress dropped to only eight.
While more research needs to be done in this area, the researchers concluded that swimming is a potentially powerful way to relieve stress quickly.

10. Safe during pregnancy
Pregnant women and their babies can reap some great rewards from swimming. In one studyTrusted Source in animals, swimming a mother rat was shown to alter brain development in her offspring. It may even protect babies from a type of neurological problem called hypoxia-ischemia, but more research is needed. Apart from the potential benefits for the child, swimming is an activity that can be performed in all three seasons.
Another study showed no negative effects of swimming in chlorinated pools during pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women who swam during early to mid-pregnancy had a lower risk of preterm birth and birth defects.
Keep in mind that while swimming is generally considered safe during pregnancy, some women may experience activity restrictions due to pregnancy complications. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise programs during pregnancy, and if you experience complications, ask about safe activities.
11. Great for kids too
Children need at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. It doesn’t need to feel like a chore either. Swimming is a fun activity and doesn’t necessarily feel like a formal exercise.
Your child can attend organized swimming lessons or be part of a swim team. Unstructured swimming time is another powerful option to get the kids moving.
12. Affordable
Swimming may also be an affordable sport option compared to some others, such as cycling. Many swimming pools offer reasonable rates to join. Some public schools and other centers offer swimming hours for free or on a graduated scale based on your income.
If you’re still concerned about the costs of joining a pool, check with your employer or your health insurance. Some offer compensation for joining a fitness program.