Swimming is hailed as a wonder sport, and it’s not difficult to understand why. But perhaps you still need a little persuasion to head to the local pool for a few lengths. After all, with it being so cold outside you’ll be more tempted to add layers – and lots of them – rather than peel them off down to a swimsuit. Ah, but remember that indoor pools are heated – and once you start swimming you’ll quickly warm up. Swimmers also have the advantage of a number of health boosters.
Top five health benefits of swimming
Strength builder: Think about dolphins. I doubt you’ve ever seen a fat dolphin! Now think about top swimmers. Ever seen a weak professional swimmer? That’s because the movement and exercise of swimming improves muscular strength and muscle tone. Health experts also tell us that swimming increases bone strength, which is epically important for post-menopausal women.
Low on impact: Swimming, unlike most other aerobic sports, gives your body a good workout but without any pounding or impact to your skeletal system. How so? When your body is submerged in water, the body only needs to deal with a small percentage of your actual weight because the water is doing the rest. So if you have stiff muscles and sore joints, swimming is the perfect exercise.
Good for your heart: Research shows that 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce significantly reduce your chances of coronary heart disease and also reduce your blood pressure.
Longer life: A study at the University of South Carolina found that people who swam regularly suffer lower death rate. The research found that of the 40,000 men, aged 20 to 90, who were tracked fro 30 years, those who swam had 50% less likelihood of premature death. It’s thought that the same is true for women.
Easy breathing: Asthma sufferers can find it tough to exercise outdoors in winter, or cope with the dry atmosphere of gyms. However, swimming allows you exercise in moist air, which can help to reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms. Some other studies have also shown that swimming can actually improve the condition overall.