Swimming fires up more of your body’s major muscle groups than other forms of cardio exercise.
An hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the impact on your bones and joints.
Read on to learn about the benefits of swimming.
1. Works your whole body
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it truly works your entire body, head to toe.
Each focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim, you’re using most of your muscle groups to move your body through the water.
2. Burns calories
Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories.
Research proves a 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous pace.
To compare these numbers to other popular low-impact activities, that same 160-pound person would only burn around 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for 60 minutes. Yoga might burn just 183 calories per hour. And the elliptical trainer might burn just 365 calories in that hour.
3. Improves your sleep
Swimming may have the power to help you sleep better at night.
If you want to get more shut-eye, try swimming more often. Several researchers and fitness enthusiasts have agreed that exercise, such as swimming, can potentially help this issue.
4. Boosts your mood
Keeping active is important for your health, but being mentally fit is also important. Swimming can help with this.
Any kind of physical activity can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing, but swimming is particularly effective.
Swimming for just half an hour three times a week can lower stress levels, raise mood, lower incidences of depression and anxiety and improve sleep patterns.
5. Great for kids, too
Kids need a minimum of 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 formal working out.
Your child can do either structured swimming lessons or be part of a swim team. Unstructured swim time is another solid option to get kids moving.
6. Is appropriate for people with injuries, arthritis, and other conditions
Swimming can be a safe exercise option for people with arthritis, injury, disability or other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult.
Swimming may even help reduce some of your pain or improve your recovery from an injury.
One study showed that people with osteoarthritis reported significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness, and experienced less physical limitation after engaging in activities like swimming and cycling.
7. Lowers the risk of diseases.
As well as being a great form of cardiovascular exercise, swimming just 30 minutes a week can help to guard against heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.