Benefits of swimming: 10 reasons why swimming is the best exercise

Fit & Training door thijs

Swimming is by far my favorite thing in the whole world. There is just something about being in a swimming pool that makes me feel happy. Perhaps, it's the proven fact that being in the water has countless benefits on our mood? Or perhaps because I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid?

Regardless of what it is, the truth is that swimming has many great benefits for our health and our bodies (and I mean benefits in our bodies as in benefits in our physiques ;) Hello, have you seen the rocking bodies swimmers have?) Plus swimming is so much fun, especially if you do it with friends. So why not integrate swimming into our workout routines? After all, there is no better workout than the ones that don't feel like a workout at all, but more like a relaxing activity. Given my love for swimming and the countless benefits it has to offer, I decided to write down 10 reasons why swimming is the best exercise.

 10 reasons why swimming is the best exercise

1) It is both a cardio and strength exercise

If you are anything like me, then you’ll see cardio as a very annoying part of fitness. I personally try to avoid it as much as possible (something I am not necessarily proud of) because I feel like running, being on a treadmill or jumping around is boring and veeeery tiring. That’s why I decide to skip cardio at the gym and get my cardio in the pool. The most essential part of swimming is to keep afloat by constantly moving, if you don’t, then you start to sink. (voilà there you go, forced cardio!). Plus water is much more dense than air (800 times denser!) which puts your muscles under constant resistance (voilà strength training).  Every time you swim, you get your cardio and strength training at once.

2) It’s good for your articulations

Water has a very low impact on articulations in the body which makes swimming a great workout option for injured people who need to take it easy on their joints and articulations. Plus, because of the added density that water provides you with, you may also see better results ;) . You can swim at higher intensities than you normally workout out at without tearing and damaging your body. Plus research has shown that swimming is better for your muscles, than not doing any exercise at all on your “rest-day”.

3) It’s great for your lungs

When your face is under water, you have less oxygen. Instead of asphyxiating, your body adapts to such a level of oxygen and learns how to use it much more efficiently. Also, your body will learn to take in more fresh air with every breath, and expel more carbon dioxide with every exhalation. The fact that your breathing will be improved by swimming also has an impact on your blood pressure, making it lower.

4) It helps you become a better runner

By increasing your ability to take in and effectively use oxygen, swimming helps to improve your endurance capacity by a thousand percent. This means that you will be able to run faster and for a longer period without getting out of breath. Besides this, swimming trains your core, shoulders, hamstrings and glutes which are all essential muscles when it comes to running without getting injured.

5) It is good for everyone and anyone can do it

Swimming is an excellent exercise for anyone regarding their physical condition. People with an injury, pregnant women, a new mom, an elderly person, an athlete you name it! It all depends on which type of workout you want to obtain and how intense you swim.

6) It helps you release major stress

Ok so we all know that exercising for a certain amount of time and at certain intensity level helps release stress by creating endorphins which are the “happiness hormones”. But did you know that swimming has its own mood-boosting benefits? Yes, turns out that being submerged in water multiplies the amount of sensory information that bombards your body, which brings feelings of calmness. No wonder why it is so easy to take a nap after swimming.

7) It keeps you young longer

Yes ladies, you are reading right! Science has proven that up until your 70th birthday, swimming positively affects blood pressure, cardiovascular performance, cholesterol levels, cognitive functioning, central nervous system health, muscle mass and blood chemistry, making it extremely similar to the type of performance of your younger self. Who needs night creams and Botox when you can swim, right?

8) It hits muscles than are normally underworked

When you are in a swimming pool, your arms are all over the place. Which means that you are constantly working out often-neglected muscles of your arms like your deltoids, lats, and traps. Also given that so much about swimming is about staying balanced and leveled in the water by moving your arms and legs at the same time, swimming helps you develop the deep stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back. Which are muscles that a lot of women often miss.

9) It makes you smarter

Ok this benefit is actually still under investigation. But studies have actually discovered that blood flow to the brain increased by up to 14 % when people submerged themselves in water up to their chests.

10) It opens the doors to awesome adventures

Want to go surf in Hawaii? Snorkel in the Maldives? Take a swim in the beautiful beaches of Thailand? Or simply play in the swimming pool with your friends? Learning to swim will help you do that. Can you imagine missing out on those things because you don’t like or can’t swim?

Now what are you waiting for? Go get your swimsuit ready and get yourself in the swimming pool! 

SOURCE: Fitness Magazine