5 Benefits of Swimming (and How to get Started) - Rivertea Blog
Monica Munteanu | On 03, Jul 2013
When it’s this hot outside, the last thing you probably want to do is take a trip to the gym. But, still, you need to stay in shape for that gorgeous bathing suit you bought as the holidays are just around the corner. What better workout to keep you in perfect shape and also cool you down than swimming?
We bet you’re constantly thinking about diving headfirst into a refreshingly cold swimming pool, so why not make that dream come true and get rid of those extra pounds while you’re at it?! In fact, swimming does alot more than just that. There are some amazing health advantages to this sport, that will have you consideri turning it into your daily exercise routine for the long term.
We have collected the top 5 benefits you will be taking advantage of by taking up swimming. So get ready to hit the pool!
1. Get toned and stronger
Like any other sport, it will help you lose weight and get into shape, and that is our first argument in favor of swimming. In addition, you work all your muscle groups, meaning the shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips and glutes. Plus, water bears 12 times more resistance than air, so it assists you with gaining strength. Swimming also increases your metabolism which is the key to losing calories. You can burn about 3 calories a mile of swimming per pound you weigh. For a better result in weight loss, exercise in a heated pool, because the cold temperatures could increase your appetite. You’ll certainly get the rocking body you’ll want to flaunt on the beach.
2. Improve your flexibility
Wouldn’t you like to have the body of a gymnast and show off some new moves on the dance floor? Then you should take up swimming! This puts your body through a wide range of motions that makes you ligaments and joints more loose. Your arms and legs are engaged in dynamic circulations and your head and spine move from side to side. Each stroke helps lenghtening your body thus giving you a good stretch from head to toe.
3. Show your heart some love
When we said it works out all your muscles we meant it. That includes the most important of all: the heart. Swimming aids the heart in pumping more efficiently thus ensuring a better blood flow throughout your entire body. An analysis by the Annals of Internal Medicine also showed that regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, can help reduce your blood pressure. Although most people who suffer from heart diseases are advised not to engage in physical exercise, doctors recommend swimming as it doesn’t put as much pressure on the core as other workouts do.
4. Exercise your brain
While swimming, the body releases endorphines that make you feel good and induce a state of relaxation similar to a yoga class. Getting rid of stress through swimming impels your brain to create new, stronger cells. In this way, swimming not only helps fight against a sedentary lifestyle, but it also improves your cognitive capacities. So it’s time to give your brain a healthy and smart work out as well.
5. Good for everyone
Swimming is the right choice for anyone looking for the right workout, especially for those of you who have physical limitations, like arthritis, musculoskeletal problems or are over-weight. It is ideal for people with fragile bones who may have difficulties with performing land exercises. Swimming can also aid people with disabilities to relieve pain, improve motion range and maintain their overall fitness. There’s good news if you’re suffering from exercise-induced asthma. Studies have shown that swimming can improve the condition and help you avoid the attacks.
Now that you have found a good reason for taking up swimming, here are 6 things you should know before you get started.
1. If you don’t know how to swim or aren’t a very strong swimmer take some classes to learn the basics and get used to it.
2. Don’t eat or consume alchoholic beverages before swimming,
3. Get swimming gear: beside the bathing suit, you should consider a cap, if you have long hair, and goggles, so your eyes won’t get affected by the pool chemicals.
4. Familiarise yourself with the basic strokes: butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and frestyle.
5. Know your limits, especially at first. When you’re feeling tired, don’t push yourself, but rather stop and rest.
6. Make your own routine: for exemple, swim two or three laps, take a break and start again. Decide on a number of laps for the first week and keep adding as the weeks go by.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get you swim suit ready and hit the water. There’s nothing like diving in to the pool to get your body and your mind in shape and make this summer the best one yet!
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