With the New Year just weeks away, many people are beginning to think about some of the changes they want to make in the coming year. For many of us, some variation of losing weight, getting fit and being healthier are on our lists. And it makes sense why. Our health and wellness affect our physical and emotional well-being. It can add years onto our lives. It can bring us a greater sense of self-confidence and self-worth. Luckily, you don’t have to run on a treadmill or cycle on a stationary bike for hours to get fit. Swimming is a fun activity that has overwhelming health benefits.
Let’s dive right into how swimming can help you reach your New Year’s goals in 2016.
Increased Muscle Tone and Strength
Swimming is a great way to tone your muscles because you’re moving your body through water rather than air, which is more dense. This means that with every stroke, you’re doing resistance exercises that improve muscle strength and tone.
Unlike exercise machines that isolate different parts of the body, swimming is something that benefits the entire body: the arms, hips, legs, head and spine. With every stroke, you’re also lengthening the body, which is good for flexibility. Plus, the support of the water helps maintain balance.
Swimming is an aerobic exercise, so it helps the heart become larger and more efficient. With regular swimming, the heart can pump blood more efficiently, leading to improved blood flow throughout the body. Swimming also reduces inflammation, reducing the risk of heart attack.
Swimming is one of the best ways to keep your weight in check. In general, you can expect to burn 60-150 calories for every 10 minutes of swimming. To boost more calories, you can do short bursts of intense swimming.
To be healthy, it’s important to have the right balance of cholesterol in the body. Good cholesterol (HDL) levels are increased by swimming, while bad cholesterol (LDL) levels are lowered. By maintaining good cholesterol, the risk of dying from heart disease is reduced.
Boosted Brain Power
Swimming, like any exercise, releases endorphins in the brain. This means that after a good swim, people experience a good high and a relaxation response that is similar to what is felt after yoga thanks to all the stretching and breathing.
Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, get more fit or just be healthier in the New Year, swimming is an all-in-one way to achieve your goals!