Top Ten Benefits of Swimming

1. Weight Management

Swimming is better than many other exercises at helping you burn those calories and lose or manage your weight. You’ll burn over 300 calories in 30 minutes of breaststroke swimming, while walking in that same time will only burn 99 calories and cycling will burn 240 calories.

2. Reduced Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Surveys have shown that lowered stress and tension levels can be sought by swimming. It’ll help you unwind, relax and feel mentally refreshed.

3. Muscle Strengthening

Water is thicker than air, so you’ll be working harder to get through it—up to 44 times harder, actually. When you swim, you use the resistance of the water to produce the results similar to those used when working out with machines or weights, except that you don’t need special equipment.

4. Low Impact

Your body is buoyant in the water, which means you’re actually only bearing about ten percent of your weight. The low-impact workout is a great way for athletes with bone, joint, or muscle problems to work out with less strain.

5. Increased Flexibility

When you swim, you must twist, reach, stretch, and pull your body through the thick water. This repeated stretching found in various strokes can make swimmers more flexible.

6. Endurance

Swimming is a great way to increase endurance. The longer people swim, the more their bodies come to tolerate hard workouts.

7. Lowered Blood Pressure

One of the greatest benefits of swimming is how it lowers blood pressure. Swimming three times a week for 30 minutes has been shown to lower blood pressure and resting heart rate after just ten weeks. When you lower your blood pressure, you also lower your risk of stroke, aneurysm, transient ischemic attack, dementia, disability, kidney disease, and heart disease significantly. Swimming can actually prolong your life. And that should be benefit enough.

8. Muscle Recovery

Swimming helps your circulatory system move blood around your body and back to your heart more efficiently, clear blood lactate, and reduce tissue inflammation caused by exertion.

9. Build Bone Mass

Weight-bearing exercises aren’t the only workouts that build bone mass. Recent studies have shown that swimming can actually increase bone mass density, and specifically, femoral bone weight.

10. Better Breathing

The air’s moisture at a swimming pool makes it easier for people to breathe, which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma. It also increases lung volume and builds better breathing techniques, which is great for runners.   Posted by  Matt Cook, Weekend Triathlete