Unlike other fitness regimens, swimming engages every muscle group and energy system! Water is 800 times denser than air, and that added resistance allows for an awesome total body workout.
Related: 10 Reasons You Need To Try Swimming
The benefits of swimming are many. Here are a few you might not have known about:
1. Improves Coordination
Swimming improves flexibility, range of motion, and functional strength in the water. This leads to improved core strength and mobile stability in all your joints, as well as stronger muscles and enhanced motor skills.
Related: Dryland Workouts for Swimmers
2. It’s Joint Friendly
It’s joint-friendly. If you’re recovering from an injury and are eager to build strength, then look into starting a swimming routine to stay fit. If running is your passion, then swimming is a great way to work out on recovery days, allowing knees a rest from the pavement.
3. Burns Major Calories
Swimming is, without question, a very effective way to torch calories. Each competitive stroke engages different muscle groups so you’ll burn more or less depending on how much of each stroke you swim. The king of calorie-burning is butterfly. According to Nutristrategy.com, the calorie torching ranges from 649 calories for a 130-pounder to 1,024 calories for a 205-pounder.
4. Improves Breathing Efficiently
In addition to improved heart health and stamina, swimming also improves how efficiently you breathe. This becomes very beneficial when doing other activities because you won’t be as out of breath after running up a flight of stairs.
5. It’s Optimal For Cross Training
A swim workout will actually improve overall performance at the gym (and vice versa!) When you’re training for a marathon or any other competition, jumping in the pool can offer you an extra edge over your competitors and improve your overall athleticism.
6. It Makes You Smarter
Your brain loves swimming. The extra blood and oxygen helps you become more alert, awake, and focused. It releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones in our body. The graphic above shows how the brain literally lights up in more areas even after a 20-minute walk. The same thing happens when you swim!
Swimming requires your mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous movement through the water. As a result swimming improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
7. It’s Muscle Lengthening
If you’re worried about bulking up (which you shouldn’t be), then consider swimming. Swimming combines resistance training with cardio, building lean muscle and boosting your metabolism. It also puts your body through a range of movements, helping your muscles stay long and flexible.
8. It Improves Your Ability To Stay Calm
Swimming is meditative. Swimming boosts endorphins that increase feelings of wellbeing. Plus the rhythmic strokes and sound of water make swimming much more relaxing. It’s been shown that swimming produces the same relaxation responses as yoga, and the stretching and contracting of muscles can heighten this experience.
Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. It’s a total body workout that is low-impact on your joints and also stretches your body—something it probably doesn’t get enough of.