If you spent half your summers in a pool or at the beach as a kid, you know how fun and relaxing swimming can be. But that fun doesn’t stop just because you’re an adult now, nor should it.
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From erasing signs of ageing to improving your toning, here are reasons why you should dig that swimsuit out of the back of your closet.
It’s A Strength Training And Cardio All-In-One
With only so much time in the day, you’re probably faced with the gym dilemma of cardio versus strength training more than once. But you don’t have to choose with swimming since it’s both at the same time!
You have to keep moving to avoid sinking, which is cardio exercise, and since water is denser than air, you’re getting some automatic strength training when your muscles work against the resistance, so swim laps to maximize your cardio and strength training benefits.
Acts As A Lung Booster
When you’re swimming with your face under the water, there’s less oxygen available than when you’re freely breathing. Over time, this forces your body to learn how to use oxygen in a more efficient manner, and you will start taking in more air when inhaling and expelling a greater amount of carbon dioxide when exhaling.
A 2012 Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology study found that swimmers moved more air in and out of their lungs during regular, relaxed breathing than runners did. An improved ability to fill and empty the lungs means lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate when you’re at rest.
To maximize this benefit, add swimming styles that require your face underwater, such as the Butterfly stroke and the Breaststroke, to your regular swimming routine.
Everyone Can Try
Anyone can work out in the water, from pregnant women to injured persons to seniors. Swimming is one of the few exercise forms that’s available to all with the proper precautions, regardless of age and condition.
Check with your doctor to see if you have any medical conditions that affect your ability to swim before embarking on a new water fitness routine. Make a workout plan that accommodates your condition while maximizing the health benefits from the exercise.
Some gyms and clubs offer swim classes for groups with conditions, such as a pregnant women, and you can hire a private coach who’s trained in swimming lessons for people with your particular condition.
It Reduces Stress And Anxiety
We’ve all drowned our stress in a box of chocolate or gallon of ice cream at least once, but that’s not the most effective or healthy method of dealing with it. Swimming is an effective stress-reliever, and has even been shown to help reduce anxiety and depression according to a 2006 paper published in The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Keep relaxation in mind when you’re swimming for added stress reducing effects. Try breathing routines to both lessen stress and anxiety and improve your cardiovascular conditioning.
Is A Bit Of A Time Machine
Swimming can turn the biological clock back. The Indiana University Bloomington’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming found that regular, intensive swimming halted the decline of markers associated with age, such as blood pressure and muscle mass.
Put away that wrinkle cream and make some time for regular swimming to see its age-reducing benefits. Use an intensive routine to get the maximum results from the time you put in, and avoid costly and dangerous procedures and surgeries so many others use to turn back the hands of time.