6 Exceptional Reasons Why You Should Be Swimming

Article By Stephanie Johnson

 

It’s that time of year again – the long, sizzling golden days of no school, of grills and fresh summer produce, of soft nights illumed by flickering fireflies. Ah, summer. 

 

What better way is there to spend a summer day than by some cool, refreshing body of water?  Whether it’s the ocean, a public pool, or just a kiddy pool in your back yard, swimming is practically a summer fun commandment.          

People have been drawn to water since the beginning of time.  There are cave drawings depicting people swimming, and there are references to it in ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian artifacts.

 

Almost everyone can benefit from swimming, young and old alike.  It’s extremely beneficial for pregnant women, too, as it’s gentle and safe, yet still gets the heart rate up. 

 

So … why should you be swimming?

 

Swimming works lots of muscles

While many workouts and forms of exercise target specific muscle groups, swimming is a full-body workout.  It works the legs, posterior, arms, shoulders, and (depending on what strokes you use) even your abs. It’s excellent for toning purposes, and thus enhanced self-esteem.

 

Swimming is low impact

Though it provides a thorough workout that is both aerobic and anaerobic, swimming is very gentle on the joints.  If you have issues with your knees or back, swimming can help strengthen these areas without putting undue stress on them.

 

Swimming may aid in recovery from injury

If you have been ill or injured, swimming may help you get back to your old self.  Of course you should consult your doctor before hopping in the pool, but when they give you the okay, go for it!  Doctors usually prescribe swimming for people post-surgery because it helps with the muscle atrophy that can often be a problem.  Swimming is also good for pregnant women, as it helps maintain their level of fitness without stressing them or the baby.  It is also useful for post-natal conditioning and toning.

 

Swimming is good for all age groups

It is a wonderful thing to expose your kids to the water early.  It helps prevent a fear of water, and some studies have also shown it makes kids more meditative and less likely to experience panic attacks later in life.  Seniors, too, can benefit from this fabulous exercise – it helps with joint and bone maintenance, and the invigorating massage the waters provide can help with pain management.

 

Swimming Promotes cardiovascular conditioning and weight loss

Swimming is wonderful for overall fitness, but is especially good for strengthening the heart.  It burns calories and, combined with a healthy diet, is excellent for promoting weight loss.

 

Swimming is good for the mind as well as the body

Aside from the obvious physical benefits, swimming is wonderful for relaxation, meditation, and socializing.  It decreases stress levels, and increases your sense of overall well-being.

 

If you’re swimming purely for the fitness aspect of it, you might want to consider taking some classes (check your local gym or public pool for information about these) to learn about which strokes are the most effective for your goals.

 

So get out there and get swimming!  Your heart, body, and mind will thank you for it!

 

“Please pay attention to what you do have instead of what you don’t have.”

-Suzie Orman

 

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Posted on 21 July, 2009 in Fitness & Health, Happiness
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