Look And Feel Younger With Swimming

Author: Sun Paradise Editorial Team

Date: 2017-03-19

Look and feel younger with swimming


Aerobic exercise is essential for your wellbeing and swimming rewards you with far more benefits in terms of environment and results. Swimming has been found to influence the brain positively via a process called hippocampal neurogenesis where the brain releases “happy” chemicals called endorphins. Not surprisingly, swimming has been equated to yoga in terms of relaxation response while it’s also meditative since distractions are drowned out when you swim. Hence swimmers have happier disposition. But let’s look at other benefits swimming has to offer:

Buoyancy & Resistance
Buoyancy has its many advantages. By rough estimates your body is 50% lighter in waist-deep water; 70% lighter when chest-deep and 90% lighter when you are neck-deep. Moving in water invariably helps you improve your balance and ultimately your balance on land. Water is 12-times denser than air and it’s this density that provides natural resistance. Therefore, every muscular movement in water becomes a resistance exercise and swimming is an effectual way to tone, strengthen and build muscles. 

With buoyancy and resistance, impact is vastly reduced and this means swimming is gentle on your skeletal system and joints. Moreover, it has shown to have contributed in improved bone strength in post-menopausal women. Stretching and strengthening your muscles plus doing aerobic workouts are what the Arthritis Foundation prescribes for patients. Swimming has all these and it’s the most suiting exercise for stiff muscles and sore joints. For rheumatoid arthritis patients, hydrotherapy yields the best results when compared to other activities. It also promotes improved use of joints and less pain for osteoarthritis sufferers cites the CDC. Swimming helps you get a good stretch from head to toe and provide a wide range of motion - thus keeping ligaments and joints flexible and loose.

Coronary heart disease in women can be reduced by 30-40% with just 30 minutes swimming a day - according to the American Heart Association. It can also combat the body’s inflammatory response according to Columbia University Medical Center; and according to the Annals of Internal Medicine, it can reduce blood pressure. Vitally, swimming exercises the most important muscle – your heart. In terms of mortality, a research by the University of South Carolina involving 40,547 men aged 20 to 90 and over a span of 32 years revealed that those who swam had a 50% lower mortality rate than runners, walkers and those with sedentary lifestyles.

Being aerobic exercise, swimming has been proven to help elevate HDL or “good cholesterol” levels. Some estimates put it as, for every 1% increase in HDL, risks of death caused by heart disease drops by 3.5%. Endothelium or the layer of cells lining your arteries loses flexibility with age. In a study, a group in their 60s conducting aerobic exercises regularly were found to have endothelium function closer to those in their 30s.

Breathing & Asthmatics
Swimming expands your lung-volume and helps you breathe better. Notably, it helps to regulate and improve your breathing techniques and surprisingly too, it has been prescribed for asthmatics. Owing to moist air closer to water surface, it is particularly known to be among the best exercise for those with asthmatic conditions and go a long way to help ward off asthma attacks. Science Daily reported on a sample test affecting kids who completed a 6-week swimming program and found improvements even a year after the program ended.

A potent calorie burner, swimming helps to keep your weight under control. Naturally, intensity matters in calorie burn but a typical breaststroke swim burns 60 calories every 10mins. This rises to 80 for backstroke, 100 for freestyle and 150 for butterfly. To heighten this further, you may include applying intervals with increased intensity. One sample program is to swim 50 meters, rest for 10sec; then 100 meters with a 10sec. rest; then 150 meters and 50-meter increment peaking at 300 meters with the same 10sec. rest time.

Swimming can help prevent or counteract against diabetes as it burns calories while helping to increase insulin sensitivity according to the University of Maryland. One study suggests that men reduce risks of diabetes by 6% for every 500 calories burned in a week. Another study indicated that women reduce risks by 16% against Type 2 diabetes with vigorous swimming just once a week. In comparison, 30mins breaststroke swim, three times a week, can help reduce risks of Type 2 diabetes by some 10%. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for diabetics to aid glycaemic control.

* As customary, it is recommended that you consult your physician before starting on any regular exercise program.