Summer is just around the corner; for us Florida residents, summer is basically already here. And here there is water everywhere—you can chose to take a relaxing dip in a pool or go for a swim at one of the many beaches on the coast. Yes, many people go to the beach to get a suntan (Note: wear your sunblock!), but did you know that swimming is one of the best cardio activities almost everyone can do?
Swimming offers something no other cardioaerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your bones.
The concept of buoyance allows swimming to be such a low-impact exercise. As the body is submerged, buoyancy makes it seem lighter in weight. This is especially important for those who are overweight, and also those with weakened skeletal systems, joint problems, and older adults, who all may need some “joint cushioning.” Actually, swimming has also been shown to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women.
Swimming has been proven to increase muscle tone and strength.
Let’s compare a jogger to a swimmer. A jogger only has to move his or her body through air. A swimmer, on the other hand, has to push through water, a much higher density than air. This makes swimming a good resistance exercise—and it’s well known that resistance exercises are the best way to build muscle tone and strength.
Flexibility improves with regular swimming.
Swimming utilizes numerous muscles simultaneously. It puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. To improve your flexibility past the natural gains you’ll make by swimming, you might want to do some gentle stretches after you finish your pool workout.
Are you in need of stress-relief and relaxation?
Swimming may be just what you need! While swimming, the brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, giving pleasant side effects to this physical activity. In addition to a natural high, swimming can also evoke the relaxation response the same way yoga works on the body. This is mostly due to the constant stretching and relaxing of your muscles combined with deep rhythmic breathing. Swimming is also a meditative exercise, with the sound of your own breathing and the splash of the water helping to “drown out” distractions.
Swimming is one of the few physical activities you can do for your entire life.
Research has shown that regular swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age, making swimming an activity that literally helps you stay younger! Presented at an American College of Sports Medicine conference, the data showed that a swimmer’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular performance are all comparable to someone far younger.
As you can tell, swimming is a unique physical activity that offers numerous health benefits and almost everyone can enjoy it. So, as the temperatures rise with the season, consider spending more time in the water this summer. And especially for Florida residents, you have no excuses! Take advantage of our beautiful waters and cool off at the beach!
P.S. If you suffer from damaged skin due to overexposure to the sun, we offer a variety of treatments at The Aesthetic & Wellness Center to improve your skin’s texture and appearance.
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