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The health benefits of swimming

written by Vidya Sury May 23, 2016
Health benefits of Swimming Vidya Sury 1

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A friend of mine is very excited about her brand new, gorgeous swimming pool and can’t seem to stop talking about it! As swimming pool designs go, this one is quite exceptional, complying with all the safety regulations and the other details that go into making it a great place to beat the heat this summer while getting a vigorous yet enjoyable workout.

Yassmine : Modern pool by Rita Mody Joshi & Associates

My friend’s excitement is justified, what with swimming being her favorite way to stay fit. She can never stop talking about the health benefits of swimming and I figured I’d share the knowledge here.

Swimming is special because unlike other fitness regimes, brings many other health benefits such as breath control and muscle toning while helping you burn fat, improve blood flow and heart rate.

Let’s look at the benefits of swimming in closer detail:

When you hit the pool with a few laps in mind, here’s what you gain:

Toned muscles

Water is 12x denser than air,making swimming a much better way to tone your muscles than other types of exercise. Swimming gives you a good cardio workout. Also, working out in water gives water resistance, which is quite like doing light weights in the gym,except, when you do it in the water provides more controlled resistance. You don’t have to keep track of how many you do when you have to lift and you can actually easily control how vigorous you want your workout to be.

Breathing control

Swimming literally forces you to work on your breathing. Since the moisture level in the air around a swimming pool is higher than that of a gym, it makes it easier to breathe. This is especially beneficial for those suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma. Swimming improves symptoms of asthma and increases lung volume.

Longer workouts with less stress

Water supports body weight and this helps those with injuries or obesity workout easier without the risk of further injury. Swimming does not cause stress on the skeletal system, since the chances of making impact with hard surfaces in the water are minimal. Every movement is cushioned by the water. In fact, in winter, when the pool is heated, this is an added advantage where the heat helps soothe joints and muscles.


Unlike a gym workout where a different machine is required to work on different body areas, swimming is more or less a whole body workout. Different strokes target different muscles, elongating and stretching them and improving overall flexibility.

Calming activity

I used to think that my friend was a naturally serene person, but apparently it is a benefit of swimming. Swimming enhances the endorphins in the body, which in turn fill one with a sense of well being. In fact, it is similar to yoga, where the various poses bring on that relaxation response and make it easier for you to meditate.

Then, there is the benefit of having fun, since swimming keeps you cooler, and is good for all ages.

To summarize, swimming

  • Improves flexibility and strength
  • Builds stamina
  • Strengthens heart muscles
  • Tones your body
  • Improves circulation
  • Helps in healing from injuries
  • Promotes weight loss.

It is important to make sure you know how to swim. Make sure you warm up before you jump into that water.

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