1. Works your whole body
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it truly works your entire body, head to toe. Swimming:
- increases your heart rate without stressing your body
- tones muscles
- builds strength
- builds endurance
There are various strokes you can use to add variety to your swimming workout, including:
Each focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim, you’re using most of your muscle groups to move your body through the water.
2. Works your insides, too
While your muscles are getting a good workout, your cardiovascular system is, too. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong. Swimming is so good for you that researchers share it may even reduce your risk of death. Compared with inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death Trusted Source. Some other studies have shown that swimming may help lower blood pressure Trusted Source and control blood sugar Trusted Source.
3. Is appropriate for people with injuries, arthritis, and other conditions
It is important to have your doctor’s approval before beginning or resuming any exercise program. Swimming can be a safe exercise option for most people with:
- other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult
Swimming may even help reduce some of your pain or improve your recovery from an injury. One study showed that people with osteoarthritis reported significant reductions in joint pain and stiffness and experienced less physical limitation after engaging in activities like swimming and cycling. Even more interesting, there was little to no difference in the benefits between the two groups. So, swimming seems to have many of the same benefits as frequently prescribed land exercises. If you want non-swimming water activities, try these water excises for people with arthritis.
4. Good option for people with asthma
The humid environment of indoor pools makes swimming a great activity for people with asthma. Not only that, but breathing exercises associated with the sport, like holding your breath, may helpTrusted Source you expand your lung capacity and gain control over your breathing. Some studies suggest that swimming may increase your risk for asthma because of the chemicals used to treat pools. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks of swimming if you have asthma, and, if possible, look for a pool that uses salt water instead of chlorine.