While many people think to run, cycle or attend exercise classes to become fitter and slim down, swimming, even for just 30 minute a day twice a week, can have just as many health benefits – without putting too much stress on your body. These are the reasons why we love swimming.
1. Burns Calories and Tones your Muscles
When you swim, you use over two-thirds of your body – arms, legs, neck, lower body, upper body, and not to mention your core muscles – to push through water. This resistance in turn tones your body, creating longer, more lean muscles. Plus, it quickly burns calories, potentially 500 calories in an hour – and boosts metabolism. Swimming at a more vigorous pace is a fantastic cardiovascular work out too. A study conducted by Mindlab International on behalf of British Gas SwimBritain said that participants of the trial saw their fitness levels increase by 15% and energy levels increase by 51% over a four week period.
2. Low Impact
Even though your whole body is working really hard, it suffers little stress, thanks to swimming being a low impact exercise. It’s a great sport for those who suffer with joint problems or arthritis, and helps to build strength. For those that do high impact exercises on a regular basis, swimming can provide your body a much-needed rest, without compromising on a good work out.
3. Helps with Breathing
Whether you’re swimming front crawl, breast stroke or butterfly, you can’t help but control your breathing. Your lung capacity increases and breathing techniques improve, which can be very beneficial to people who suffer with asthma, particularly when swimming in humid pool environments.
4. There’s Sessions for Everyone
Swimming pools tend to split their day into sessions, so there will be a time for you to attend, whatever your goals. Those swimming for fitness can swim in lanes, whilst those wanting a more relaxing, steady swim can attend the pool during ‘swim for everyone’ sessions. There’s always family times, suitable for people of all ages, and swim classes too, even aqua zumba!
5. It Makes You Happy
The British Gas SwimBritain’s study, conducted by Mindlab International, not only found that general fitness levels increased, but sleep quality improved by 40%, negativity decreased by 33%, and overall positivity increased by 35% too! Rebecca Adlington, four-time Olympic medallist, said of the results: “Swimming is obviously close to my heart and it’s my goal to help the nation rediscover their love of the water, so this research is really good news for the sport, and something I’ve always known anyway! The fact that it has significant benefits both in body and mind is a great reason to get back in the pool.”