Time to take a dip.
Going for a swim sounds tempting when the weather gets warmer. You have plenty of options to choose from: the ocean, a community pool, a water park, or a lake. Besides cooling you down, the health benefits of swimming are another reason to grab your sunblock and dive in.
Health Benefits of Swimming
1. Weight management
Exercise can play a big role in finding and maintaining a healthy weight. Sometimes you don’t want to run in the heat or take that hot yoga class. With swimming, you don’t even feel like you’re sweating (but you are!). You can burn over 150 calories with just half an hour of basic swimming. If you’re swimming laps, you might burn twice as many calories. By the way, here are other ways to burn calories in the summer.
2. Cardiovascular health
Swimming works the heart and the lungs. Not only is it a form of cardio, but it also trains you to use oxygen more efficiently. It’s one of the only exercises that requires you to hold your breath, so your respiratory system will definitely get a workout. Remember to take a break if you start feeling any sharp pain in your chest.
3. Muscle Strength
Another perk of swimming is that it’s a whole-body exercise. It can help you improve strength, endurance, and flexibility in your arms, legs, and everything in between. Cardio is great, but it is recommended you balance it out with strength exercises a few times a week. Swimming will help you knock both things off your list at the same time.
4. Joint health
Some people experience joint pain in the knees, hips, or ankles after workouts that include a lot of jumping or jogging. Swimming is a good low-impact form of cardio. As a result, it’s ideal for people with compromised joints (like arthritis) or pain-causing conditions (like fibromyalgia).
For some, swimming can be meditative. You can let your mind drift and just focus on your breathing and rhythm. Unlike team sports or activities, you only need yourself to swim, so it’s a great opportunity to spend some time with yourself and your thoughts.
Talk to your doctor if you want to try incorporating swimming into your workout routine. If you’re a regular swimmer, you probably already know about the benefits. If not, it’s never too late to jump in and learn.
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Boston, MA: Harvard Health Publishing. (Accessed May 17, 2021).
- Exercise and Arthritis. Atlanta, GA: American College of Rheumatology. (Accessed May 17, 2021).
- Take the plunge for your heart. Boston, MA: Harvard Health Publishing. (Accessed May 17, 2021).