6 Health Benefits of Swimming
Updated: Oct 27
The Department of Health and Human Services advises that in one week, the average person should perform a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity or engage in at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. There are many ways to achieve this weekly goal, including walking, running, biking and swimming.
Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, with many participating in water exercises for weight loss as well as recreation and relaxation. If it is difficult for you to find the motivation to get up and go for a run or participate in other physical activities on land, water-based activities like swimming may be the best route for you. Swimming has many physical and mental benefits that can help you lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Physical Health Benefits
No matter what fitness level you are currently at, swimming is a great way to get moving and meet your weekly exercise goals. If you are looking for physical activity with multiple physical health benefits, swimming may be the right fit for you. Here are some of the physical health benefits of getting your weekly exercise in a pool:
1. Swimming Is a Full-Body Workout
When you swim, you engage almost all of your muscular system, working out muscles that do not necessarily get regular use. Since swimming requires movement of the arms, legs and core, participating in water exercises regularly can help improve your strength and muscle tone. Also, because water is denser than air, exercising in the water forces your body to work harder, making workouts more efficient and effective.
2. Swimming Is Good for Your Cardiovascular Health
Swimming is a good way to work your body in ways that you can see, such as muscle toning, and it also improves your cardiovascular strength as well. In fact, swimming is the best form of low-impact cardio. Because swimming involves your lungs, heart and circulatory system, it can make long-lasting improvements to your body.
For example, research shows that swimming may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar, meaning that pool workouts can help lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Swimming can also reduce the risk of death by half compared to inactive people.
3. Other Activities Can Be Harder on Your Body Physically
Compared to other physical activities, swimming can take less of a toll on your body. Because the buoyancy of water supports around 90% of your body weight, you only have to support the remaining 10%. If you have an injury or long-term condition that makes high-impact exercise difficult, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, swimming may be easier on your body while also reducing injury or joint pain and stiffness.
4. Exercising in Water Promotes Weight Loss
As one of the most effective ways to burn calories, water exercises for weight loss can equal the same amount of calories burned from participating in walking or yoga for a longer time.
Specifically, depending on your body weight, a light swim can burn over 200 calories in half an hour. Faster, more aggressive pool exercises will burn the most calories, but you can lose weight with a pool at any activity level as long as you're being active and monitoring your food intake.
5. An Active Lifestyle Can Improve Sleep
Comparing people who participate regularly in physical activities and those who do not, people with a more active lifestyle report sleeping better at night. If you struggle with insomnia, others with the same issue have claimed that swimming during the day helps improve both the quality of sleep and lessens the time it takes before falling asleep. Though any type of physical activity can improve sleep patterns, swimming is a great option since it engages your entire body.
6. Swimming Is Beneficial for People of All Ages and Ability Levels
Despite your age or experience, it is never too early or too late to get into the pool. Even if you cannot swim laps, just getting into the water and moving still helps build muscle and improve your cardiovascular system. Research shows that inactivity is part of the reason many people have little energy, so if you find yourself feeling tired frequently, swimming a few times a week may help build up your energy levels.
Calories Burned When Swimming for Weight Loss
One of the many benefits of swimming is that water exercises are excellent for weight loss. The exact amount of calories burned depends on multiple personal factors, including gender, weight, age and body type, but it also changes based on how long you swim and the stroke you use. If you're wondering how to lose weight in a pool, consider a few different strokes to maximize the impact of your water workout.
Swimming for Cardio and Strength Training
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is any physical exercise that gets your heart rate up and works your respiratory system. Strength training, also known as resistance training, focuses more on improving strength and endurance. While many physical activities focus on one training aspect or the other, swimming combines the two exercise types.
Swimming simultaneously builds strength and improves cardiovascular fitness. Though it's mainly considered an aerobic exercise, swimming also acts as a strength training exercise because water increases the resistance against your body. Different swim strokes work out different muscles, allowing you to focus on different muscle groups depending on what part of the body you want to tone.
Benefits to Mental Health
In addition to having many physical health benefits, swimming also has positive effects on your mental health. Swimming, like many physical activities, can help reduce stress and leave participants feeling mentally refreshed. Many people find being in the water soothing, which adds an extra level of stress relief that other physical activity does not provide.
Swimming can also help elevate and stabilize your mood, reducing anxiety by both alleviating stress levels and improving your sleep patterns. Similarly, using swimming as a recreational activity can help with developmental issues, improve family relations and build confidence.
Use Quantus Pools for Your Swimming Pool Needs
If swimming sounds like the right exercise for you to improve your physical and mental health, contact the team at Quantus Pools today. Serving homeowners in the Chicago suburbs, we can help you maintain or install a luxury pool on your property that will create a space for your family and friends to enjoy a private and comfortable place to swim.
Our experienced team prides itself in building, renovating, repairing and servicing pools in a prompt, professional way, performing quality work to help homeowners fulfill their swimming pool visions.
At Quantus Pools, we offer affordable and competitive rates provided by certified technicians. Contact us today if you’re interested in building or maintaining the pool of your dreams!