Do you like to swim? Sadly, fewer of us are going swimming these days. Maybe we need a gentle reminder of all the health benefits of swimming. A few years ago, swimming was a very popular sport but since the Olympics it seems to have gone into decline. The fact is that more of us should be going swimming. After walking it is one of the healthiest activities that we can do.
We really have no excuse. Swimming pools are available at most leisure centres and it is actually one of the cheapest sports activities that we can do. Most kids learn how to swim, but the skill is often put by the wayside when parents don’t take their kids swimming. However, we should be taking our kids swimming and we should be taking ourselves swimming as well. This is one of the healthiest, and best ways, to keep fit.
Swimming gives us a gentle cardio exercise. We can push ourselves harder if we want to but there is really no need. Recent research shows that if you swim 250 metres, take a break and then swim another 250 metres, is just as good for you as swimming 500 metres in one hit. As a matter of fact, it might be better for you.
When you take a rest, so does you heart. In order to get going again, your heart will have to speed up again, and this is what makes the difference. So, swimming four times 1000 metres with a couple of breaks is better for you than doing the complete stretch all at once. There is no longer a need to stress in the swimming pool. Ignore the other fast swimmers and swim at your own pace.
There are different styles of swimming. You can choose to do the breast stroke, back stroke or the crawl at your local leisure centre swimming pool. This is truly one of the real gifts of swimming. All three strokes require cor-ordination and you will actually find that you have to think about what you are doing.
Exercises which make you work on your co-ordination are vitally important as not only do you use different muscle groups, but you also ask your brain to remember some rather complicated tasks. All swimming exercises are about co-ordination when you stop and analyze them. This is certainly one of the top reasons that we should add swimming to our keep fit routine.
Stop and think about your muscles for a moment. How many exercise formats are there that will exercise almost every tendon and muscle you have in your body? The simple answer is very few but swimming is one of them. When you swim, you will use the muscles in your legs, arms, stomach and back muscles. If, you are really good at swimming you may even give your neck muscles a work-out as well. And all of this whilst being supported by water. Swimming is truly an amazing exercise.
Going for a swim workout can see you burn a lot of calories. Most of us still like to think about our exercise as burning calories. Most regular swimmers burn about 8 calories per minute, and that means that if you swim for 20 minutes, you would have burned 160 calories. That is rather a lot of calories for an exercise which is a pleasure at the same time.
No Joint Pain
Another health benefit that we often forget about when it comes to swimming, is the simple fact that this cardio exercise puts no strain on our joints at all. The water lifts your body, so that you are not working against a hard surface like when going for a run. All you are doing is working at the pressure of the water itself. After all, water does put a certain amount of pressure on your body, and this is what you are working against. If you didn’t, you would not make any progress through the water at all.
Should we swim more? Of course we should and we should appreciate the health benefits of swimming much more than we do. It is an exercise for the entire family, and you can swim at any stage in your life. Regular swimmers suffer less from infections and other health problems. Arthritis and rheumatism are both two health conditions which are less common in regular swimmers. Isn’t it about time you bought a new swim suit?