Posted July 1, 2013
Did you know that swimming is the best exercise for increasing metabolism, burning calories and improving muscle strength? Plus, it’s low-impact and easy on your joints?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swimming is the fourth most popular fitness and aerobic activity in the country. People who swim regularly have less than half the risk of death, as compared to those who do not engage in any activity.
Researchers at Indiana University studied the powerful health benefits of swimming. Comparing non-swimmers against recreational fitness swimmers, they discovered that swimmers at any age had more lean muscle and were thinner in the waist and hips than those who did not swim.
As an aerobic activity, swimming offers these benefits:
- Strengthens and tones without putting excessive stress and strain on muscles
- Reduces the risk of serious illness and improves life for people with serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes
- Eases pain associated with arthritis
According to Women’s Health, swimming is a total-body workout, as it requires every muscle to work together to move through the water. Most swimmers engaged in a leisurely workout burn about 500 calories/hour, whereas a vigorous swim can use up about 700 calories/hour.
Swimming is an exercise for people of all ages. According to Indiana University researchers, active swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age, as evidenced by their blood pressure, cardiovascular performance, cognitive functions and blood pressure.
Start Out Slowly
If you’re considering swimming as a regular workout, exercise experts say it’s important to start out slowly to build up endurance. Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon the first time you lace up your running shoes, it takes time to work on swim strokes and learn how to breathe properly.
Learn how to incorporate swimming into your workout routine by reading these articles:
“Are Pool Workouts Productive? The Benefits of Resistance Training in the Water”
“Slim Down in a Splash: Pool Workout”