Dive Into the Health Benefits of Swimming
You probably know that swimming is an excellent form of exercise, but do you know exactly why? Keep reading to learn some of the surprising benefits of swimming, including how it can help you improve and maintain your fitness.
The full-body benefits of swimming
Swimming is a low impact, full-body workout that improves your heart health and overall muscle strength simultaneously. It forces you to engage your arms, legs, core, and back to propel yourself through the water. Swimming falls into the “cardio” category, giving your heart and lungs a powerful workout.
Activities like running can be hard on your joints, but swimming is another story. Your buoyancy in the water means no pressure on your joints. Swimming is perfect for people who suffer from back pain, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal issues.
Swimming and diabetes
Swimming is a beneficial form of exercise for people with diabetes. According to the Cleveland Clinic:
“For those with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes, studies show it improves cholesterol levels, burns calories and lowers stress levels. To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout. Make sure to have a snack and monitor blood sugars. Lastly, let the lifeguard know that you have diabetes before you get in the pool.”
Improving cholesterol levels, burning calories, and lowering stress levels is healthy for anyone! These same benefits can be found in swimming regardless of whether or not you have diabetes.
How swimming helps control blood sugar and blood pressure
Studies have also shown that swimming can improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood pressure. According to the University of California’s Berkeley Wellness division, “Swimming is beneficial in this regard not only because it can provide an aerobic workout, but also because the resistance provided by the water builds muscle, which helps with blood sugar control.”
Additionally, more studies have shown that water exercise, like swimming, helps lower blood pressure.
Getting the most out of your swimming routine
Like running, getting started with swimming is fairly straightforward. You’ll need a comfortable swimsuit, some goggles (other accessories like swim caps are optional), and a pool or open body of water to swim in.
As the Cleveland Clinic suggests, starting with 10 minutes of swimming three times per week is a great place to start. You can tailor your swim workouts in meet your own goals, but this guide from U.S. Masters Swimming will tell you everything you need to know about getting started with your own swimming routine.