Saving your swimsuits for the summer? Don’t! Pearl Mathias tells you why you should start swimming right now
Treadmills and dumbbells are great for working out, but when the routine gets monotonous, it’s time for something new. But, switching up your exercise routine often can be a little too tiring if you’re already having trouble fitting one into a busy schedule. Think about hanging up your gym shoes for a while and taking a dip in the pool instead to stay in shape. Several studies agree that swimming is a rigorous activity that’s a perfectly effective workout; however, you will need to have an active lifestyle for it to fully work its magic. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, swimmers have better tidal volume than runners, (which indicates the amount of air that you inhale and exhale when breathing normally) and also showed lower resting heart rates and blood pressure. Here’s why you should make your way to the closest pool for a quick swim.
It builds muscle
If bulking up is your focus, then swimming is the right way to go. It puts your body through a range of movements that help to build longer or leaner muscles. Also known as ‘swimmer’s muscles’, they help to boost your body’s metabolism and keep the calories burning for longer.
You get a balanced workout routine
If you’re normally involved in high-impact activities such as basketball, running and weightlifting, swimming gives your body a much needed break, while boosting cardiovascular capacity and increasing muscle strength.
It helps your heart
If you swim consistently and practice good techniques, it will improve your overall fitness. When compared with running, swimming has a higher oxygen demand on your body, making your muscles work harder and maximising your cardio workout.
You burn more calories
Swimming helps to rev up your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn calories even after you’ve ended the activity. Avoid heated pools though, because a study performed at the University of Florida in 2005 found that slightly more calories are burned when you perform activities in cold water than in warm water. That’s another reason to dive in!
It builds endurance
Compared to other activities, you will be able to sustain swimming for much longer, which helps build endurance levels. As you master new techniques, you will be able to keep at it with relatively less effort. This even helps you shed more calories.
You will mix & mingle
Apart from the various direct health benefits that swimming offers, it also serves as a great social outlet. Joining a group may help you meet like-minded individuals and fitness enthusiasts who share a passion for the water. And, if you have a swimming buddy, it will be easier for you to stay motivated.
It has total body benefits
Swimming not only assists you in losing weight, it also helps with everything from sculpting your back to toning your arms. You don’t even need to lift a weight; use the four simple swimming strokes — backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, freestyle — to your advantage and watch as you jump into shape.
It helps get rid of asthma apprehension
Since swimming requires breath control, it helps to improve your overall lung and breathing capacity. This helps relieve any symptoms of asthma induced by exercise. According to a study published in the journal Respirology, swimming showed improvement in cases of snoring, mouth breathing as well as emergency hospital visits.
It’s good for your joints
If you’re looking to build strength while recovering from a joint injury, swimming is your best bet. If you’re fond of running, but your knees aren’t cooperating, taking up swimming is a good replacement workout to give your joints a break.
It’s the best feeling!
At the end of the day, the simple act of swimming is fun and refreshing. You don’t need to perform your strokes perfectly or master new techniques in order to reap its benefits. Simply put on your swimming gear and dive into the clear blue water. The gorgeous tan won’t hurt either!