Saturday, 30 July 2011

Swimming Benefits Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Swimming Benefits Your Body, Mind and Spirit

There are so many swimming benefits, from physical to mental to social. Understanding all the benefits of swimming is important because swimming really can change your life. In fact, it can even extend your life!

Here are some swimming benefits:

  • Low impact — When you exercise on land, such as running or walking, you put a lot of pressure on your joints, bones and muscles. With swimming, the buoyancy of water acts cushions your body and is no harsh pounding to stress your joints and muscles. In fact, swimming is regarded as one of the safest exercises, with very little risk of injury. And many people who have been injured turn to swimming as a way to exercise, and even rehabilitate their injuries. 

  • Anyone can do it —  No matter your age, weight, skill level, or fitness level, swimming is an excellent choice for anyone including overweight people, people with disabilities , pregnant women and seniors.

  • Longevity — A recent study shows that swimming helps you live longer. In a study of more than 40,000 men ages 20 to 90, swimmers were 50 percent less likely to die during the 32 year study period than were walkers or runners. 

  • Weight loss —  You burn around three calories a mile per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds and you swim one mile in 30 minutes, then you will burn 900 calories per hour.  Of course, how many calories you burn depends on how much you weigh and the intensity of your workout. If you weigh 150 pounds and swim at moderate intensity, you will burn around 600 calories per hour. 

  • Cross- trainingSwimming is also a great way to do cross-training, when added to your regular workouts. Before a land workout, swimming helps you warm up. After a land workout, swimming helps you cool down, recover your muscles and relax.

  • Physical health benefits  — Swimming builds flexibility, endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular health. Water adds 12 times more resistance than air, so it takes more work to move through water than air. Swimming not only helps strengthen muscles, it also helps builds lean, flexible muscles.
  • Mental benefitsFor many swimmers, swimming is like a form of mediation. This is because swimming is a focused activity that cannot be combined with distractions like reading or watching television. Swimming forces you to regulate your breathing, and allows you to focus on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke.  It reduces stress and leaves you feel relaxed and refreshed.

  • Recreation — Swimming is a lot of fun and can be a great way to socialize. Whether at the beach or a pool, it is fun to swim with other people. You can join a water aerobics class or a master’s swim practice, and socialize while you workout.

 Swimming is a lifetime sport that benefits the body, mind and spirit.

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