Athletes practice it to stay strong and fit while recovering from injury, and no fancy equipment is needed for this.
Swimming has many more benefits than we think, beyond the obvious advantages that are superficially seen.
10 amazing benefits of swimming you never knew about
The improvements in general health are much more profound. Therefore, below, we present the 10 benefits of swimming that you need to know:
1. Swimming improves muscle definition and strength
Swimmers gain muscle strength throughout the body. As runners observe muscle strengthening in their legs, swimmers use more muscle groups to move through the water.
When swimming, the legs kick, and the arms push. As the back stretches and twists, the stomach tightens to propel the legs and stabilize the core, making swimming one of the best aerobics to give you a full-body workout.
2. Swimming builds bone mass
For years, researchers scoffed at the idea that swimming affected bone mass. After all, only weight training is capable of achieving this benefit, right? Well, that's not true according to research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Because there are ethical reasons that do not allow an in-depth bone examination to be performed in humans, the study used rats divided into three groups: those that would run, swim, and a control group without any exercise stimulation.
The group of rats that ran showed the greatest increase in BMD (bone mineral density), the swimming group showed benefits over the control group in both BMD and femoral bone weight.
While more studies are needed, these new findings show that there may be bone benefits from swimming.
3. Swimming helps you stay flexible
Swimming requires you to move your entire body, stretch, turn, and work your way through the water. Your ankles turn into flippers and stretch with each kick as you push against the pressure of the water.
This is not to say that you shouldn't stretch yourself, however, the repetitive stretching that occurs with each punch and kick also helps increase flexibility.
4. Swimming reduces inflammation
While the cardiovascular benefits of swimming (strengthening the heart muscle) are common knowledge, research also showed that aerobic activities, such as swimming, reduce inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis in the heart.
Reducing inflammation throughout the system leads to a decrease in the development of various diseases in many other areas, so be prepared to discover even more benefits as more research is done.
5. Swimming is good for burning calories
Everyone knows that swimming is a great way to burn calories, but most don't realize that it can be as efficient as using a treadmill. Depending on the pace you choose and the intensity, swimming can burn the same, or more calories than running. Also, you won't have to worry about sweat on your eyes.
10 minutes of swimming, burns 60 calories with the breaststroke, 80 calories with the backstroke, 100 calories with the front crawl, and 150 with the butterfly stroke.
6. Swimming can improve exercise-induced asthma
Nothing is as frustrating as trying to exercise and not being able to breathe. However, unlike exercising inside the gym where the air is drier, or outside where you will have to deal with seasonal pollen, swimming allows you to breathe moist air while you train.
Swimming not only helps relieve asthma symptoms, but studies have shown that it can actually improve the overall condition of the lungs.
7. Swimming reduces stress and depression
The benefits of swimming are really huge in depression. While running or walking is recommended by many to improve mood, swimming can elicit all of those well-being emotions, too.
In addition to an increase in happiness hormones, you may also feel a yoga-like relaxation response.
As mentioned above, swimming constantly stretches your entire body. Combine this with deep rhythmic breathing, and it results in a relaxing experience that is very unique to this sport.
Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breath and the water help you focus within and eliminate all other distractions. This reduces stress and depression naturally.
Research has also shown that swimming can reverse stress-induced brain damage through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. So, if you feel like you are drowning emotionally, diving into a real body of water may be exactly what you need to find your way again and feel good.
8. Swimming in salt water can be a beauty treatment for the skin
Regular swimming in salt water helps the skin retain moisture and detoxify to promote the growth of new cells. You will be surprised how smooth and healthy your skin feels after an invigorating swim in the ocean.
9. Swimming can make you smarter
Sure, any exercise is great for the mind, but can swimming really make you smarter?
Research in Australia compared children who took swimming lessons with a control group of children who did not swim. The results showed that children who practiced swimming regularly were able to master language development, had advanced motor skills, good confidence and physical development earlier than the control group.
10. Swimming can lengthen your life
While all exercise can lead to greater health and longevity, studies show that swimming is one of the best options for doing so. Researchers at the University of South Carolina looked at 40,547 men, ages 20 to 90, for more than 32 years.
The results showed that those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than those who ran, walked, or men who did not exercise.The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
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