Whether you’re considering getting your child swimming lessons or you’d like to take up swimming for your own health and wellness, it’s a great activity.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of pool safety, but overall swimming is one of the best things you can do for your health. Getting your kids involved in swimming from an early age can help them be safe swimmers and develop a healthy appreciation for the water as well.
The following is everything you need to know about the benefits of swimming for your health and wellness, and your kids as well.
What Happens to Your Body When You Swim?
As soon as you jump into the water to go for a swim, you can start feeling the effects it can have on your body, particularly if there’s a significant temperature change. You get an instant jolt, like your heart speeding up and your muscles contracting. Then, you gradually get used to it, and it becomes a comfortable feeling.
Water is hundreds of times denser than air, and as you’re moving through the water, every part of your body works to propel you forward.
Your heart is beating faster, which means more blood is pumping to your muscles.
Once you’ve been swimming for just a couple of minutes, your body’s aerobic system is activated, and it depends on oxygen.
Blood flow increases as your body is delivering blood cells to your heart, and your blood vessels dilate. Your muscles develop tiny tears as you swim, which is actually a good thing because then they rebuild, and that’s how you increase your strength.
Swimming also has a direct effect on your brain. Because of the extra blood and oxygen being circulated throughout your body, your brain is more focused and alert. Endorphins are released, which make you feel good.
One of the unique benefits of swimming compared to aerobic exercise is the fact that you breathe differently in the water than you do when you’re doing other types of exercise. When you’re running, for example, your breath is more shallow, and you exhale forcefully.
The opposite happens when you swim. You’re breathing in quickly and deeply, and then little bits of the air trickle out. This is a good way to help strengthen your entire respiratory system.
Swimming Is the Best Full-Body Form of Exercise
If you workout regularly, you probably want the most bang for your buck but you may have to divide your time. On some days you might weight train different areas of your body and other days you might focus on aerobic exercise.
What’s great about swimming is that it gives you a little of everything.
When you swim as your workout, it can be more effective than weight training and running.
When you workout in a pool, you get cardio exercise, but there’s little if any impact on your joints.
Low-impact swimming isn’t just good for working your whole body, but it can also be the perfect way to workout if you’re recovering from an injury.
When you swim, it fires up all of your body’s major muscle groups more effectively than other types of cardio. For example, you’re engaging your legs, your core, and your upper body.
If you really want to make sure your whole body is working when you swim, make sure you’re doing a variety of strokes. Strokes include the breast and backstroke, the sidestroke, the butterfly and freestyle.
When you swim, your cardiovascular system is getting just as good a workout as the rest of you. It can help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar as well as strengthening your heart and lungs.
If burning calories is your primary objective, swimming helps there as well.
Someone who weighs around 160 pounds could burn up to 715 calories an hour if they were swimming at a moderate pace.
The Effects of Swimming on Mental Health
First of all, swimming is a type of exercise that can be accessible to nearly anyone and that in and of itself can have positive mental health effects. If you have a disability, injury or illness, you may not be able to do other forms of exercise. That can leave you feeling depressed or impact your self-esteem.
Swimming can help reduce symptoms of depression and boost self-esteem because it gives you an opportunity to exercise when you might not have been able to in other ways.
Swimming is also an excellent exercise for older people who have limited options as far as how they can stay active.
Researchers looked at a group of people with dementia and found that after a 12-week aquatic program, they had an improvement in mood, and the same is true of people without dementia as well.
When you swim, it’s a good way to quickly manage and reduce stress too.
When you swim, blood flow to the brain is increased, which can have a positive effect on brain health.
Since swimming releases endorphins, it’s a natural way to feel happier and increase your sense of well-being.
The Benefits of Getting Kids Comfortable in the Water
Kids should learn to swim from an early age as well and learn how to be comfortable in the water.
When you teach kids to swim from an early age it helps them be safer in the water and more aware of things like how to breathe when tired and proper breath control. Kids who take swim lessons are less likely to die from accidental drowning, and it’s a good way for kids to enjoy themselves and socialize.
Swimming provides all the health benefits to kids that it does to adults, and it can become something your child enjoys for a lifetime.If you’re looking for a new exercise routine or something to add to your current workouts, you might consider swimming thanks to the many mental and physical health benefits that come with this activity.