- September 28, 2018
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Fitness
Swimming is one of the most popular pastimes in the United Kingdom.
About 13 million people participate in swimming on a monthly basis in England, often using it as a their primary form of exercise.
One of the main reasons behind the popularity of swimming is how useful it is for improving a person’s health.
Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise that can be used to strengthen muscles, lose weight, improve the health of the cardiovascular system, and much more.
This article will share some details of the incredible health benefits that swimming provides.
Swimming is great for your lungs
Strokes like freestyle and breaststroke require a swimmer to expand their lungs as much as possible in an effort to breathe deeply.
This eventually strengthens the diaphragm, making the lungs capable of taking in more air when they surface.
This makes it easier for the swimmer to breathe and increases their oxygen intake per breath.
Some of the advantages of having higher oxygen intake include:
- Better cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
- Faster metabolic rate
- Better digestion
- Reduced asthma symptoms
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower resting heart rate
Swimming burns a lot of calories
Swimming is a low-impact form of aerobic exercise that can burn a lot of calories.
It is estimated that a 160 pound person burns over 400 calories per hour while swimming at moderate intensity.
If they swim slightly faster, this increases to about 715 calories.
This is much higher than other common forms of exercise like walking (314 calories per hour), leisurely bike riding (292 calories), and moderate intensity elliptical trainer use (365 calories).
This makes swimming an excellent way to lose weight.
Swimming reduces stress levels
A survey commissioned by swimwear brand Speedo found that many people enjoy swimming because it reduces their stress levels.
74% of the people surveyed said that swimming helps to release stress and tension, while 68% said swimming helps them feel good about themselves.
70% of respondents said that swimming helps them feel mentally refreshed.
There are many benefits gained by using swimming to reduce stress, including a reduced risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and obesity.
Reducing your stress levels will also make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
Swimming can reduce your risk of heart disease
Swimming can reduce the risk of many different diseases, but it is particularly useful for reducing a person’s risk of having heart disease.
It does so by improving a swimmer’s cardiovascular health significantly — lowering their blood pressure, reducing their resting heart rate, reducing cholesterol levels and improving their lung capacity.
Harvard Medical School published an article detailing some of the studies that examined swimming’s ability to reduce heart disease risk.
Some of the most important findings include:
Swimmers have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
A survey of 46,000 runners, swimmers, walkers, and non-exercisers found that swimmers and runners had the best blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
Lower risk of death
A survey of 40,547 men between 20 to 90 conducted over 13 years found that 2% of swimmers had died, followed by 8% of runners, 9% of walkers, and 11% of non-exercisers.
Swimming tones your muscles
You only have to look at the toned bodies of professional swimmers to see what effect swimming can have on your muscles.
All swimming strokes will develop:
- Core abdominal muscles and lower back muscles
- Shoulder muscles and deltoids
- Forearm muscles
- Upper back muscles
- Glutes and hamstrings
You can also use a specific stroke if you want to target a particular group of muscles.
Freestyle and backstroke
Abdominal muscles and obliques are used intensively as the torso is rotated during strokes.
Hip flexors are also used frequently.
Pectoral and Latissimus dorsi muscles are used intensively as the arms are moved through the water.
The gluten and quadriceps are relied on for the breaststroke kick.
Abdominal muscles and lower back muscles are used heavily to lift the body from the water.
Glutes are used to perform the butterfly kick.
Swimming will also put the body through a wide range of motion.
This helps you loosen your joints and ligaments, encouraging healthy shoulders, hips, knees, and arms.
This is the reason why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can often benefit from swimming regularly.
We hope you enjoyed reading 5 Health Benefits Of Swimming.
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