I have to say, I have always enjoyed swimming and as a kid, I was basically a fish, swimming 6 times a week for a club and loved it.
Fast forward to today and I hadn’t swum for years for various reasons or another and when I broke my ankle I needed some kind of exercise until I was back on my feet (pun definitely intended) but I had forgotten how much I loved it and how great I felt afterward! Trying to add swimming into an already busy schedule of running, strength training and everything else though has been a bit of a challenge so I have settled on once a week (or once a fortnight) for now.
To justify more exercise in my life (as if I need too!) I decided to write an informative post on the benefits of swimming in the hopes I will keep motivating myself to find time to keep it in my routine! So here they are…
This one is a biggie for me, swimming is excellent as rehabilitation for injuries such as mine because it helps to gently build up strength in the muscles, joints and ligaments without causing a lot of pain. Although my muscles and ankle are always tired after a swim I haven’t had any recovery setbacks from swimming at all!
Because swimming is so low impact it can help strengthen muscles or help those with pre-existing injuries with joints, back or even strained muscles to have an accessible way to stay fit without aggravating other injuries! This is one of the main reasons that swimming is recommended by specialists to those with injuries or ailments.
Swimming helps to work some of the muscles that you forget about, as well as some of the deeper abdominals that are harder to get too because naturally keeping yourself up and afloat uses these muscles. Also, swimming is great for the upper body if you hate working out your arms and shoulders (like me) it is a way to keep them lean without having to do much else!
By holding your breath underwater and working out by swimming it helps to improve the efficiency at which your body uses oxygen. For runners or athletes, this is incredibly beneficial because it means that running at harder efforts your body uses oxygen in a better way and reduces tiredness in muscles. For runners specifically, swimming helps to improve stamina and can also be a way to improve breathing training if you have breathing or chest issues during events.
Change up your Routine
One of the key parts to staying fit and healthy (physically and mentally) is to enjoy what you are doing. Yes, there are days when you can’t be bothered but in general successful and healthy people enjoy their exercise plans and this is because of variety and keeping things interesting. Swimming can offer a new and interesting dynamic to a workout regime and offer a break from the usual types of cardio or plans that people follow. (it’s just something a bit different!)
It’s for everyone
One of the best parts about swimming is that you can get everyone involved because it is very inclusive! It’s great for nanny and grandad without being too much of a strain on them (it’s actually beneficial for arthritis too). The kids love splashing around, having fun and getting worn out (which is always the best option for getting them to sleep well) and even the little womb bugs enjoy it too! Swimming during pregnancy (for most) is heavily encouraged and can help you to have a better labour! Even animals love a good swim, dogs especially are keen swimmers (usually) and I’ve even seen the occasional cat swim (although not at the local swimming pool!).
How can you justify swimming? Let me know in the comments!
It is important to remember to consult your doctor before you undergo any new activities, especially if you have pre-existing conditions! I am definitely not a doctor or healthcare professional but I am writing about my experiences that were recommended to me by a specialist. Be safe, happy and healthy and do what is best for your body!