One of the best aerobic exercises that is easy on the skeletal system, relaxes sore muscles and stiff joints while strengthening the entire body’s circulatory and muscular system is swimming. With the modern technology of well insulated wet suits, heated saline pools and other hydro wonders, unless you live in the arctic, swimming is a very possible year round activity for the young and senior. After more than 15 years of running long distance and tracking miles on the treadmill and pavement, I began looking for other exciting ways to stretch out the body, be challenged and find something that is refreshing, fun and easier on my knees and back. I found yoga, which I practice almost daily, but for a change in scenery, and especially during the hot summer months, swimming became my new found obsession.
⚬ Great exercise and pain relief for people living with Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or any other inflammatory disease.
⚬ In heated bodies of water, joints and muscles relax, circulation increase and pain decreases.
⚬ Swimming improves muscle tone, strength, and bone health as well as coordination.
⚬ Swimming improves range of motion and flexibility for body ligaments and muscles.
⚬ Great low impact, low body density exercise, especially for larger people, people who are overweight, pregnant mothers, people with disabilities, or people who are injured, and seniors.
⚬ Reduces coronary heart disease as much as 30-40 percent in women and men. Swimming builds heart strength and allows it to pump more efficiently.
⚬ Swimming helps people lose and maintain weight, as it is one of the best caloric burners for cardio health. An average of 100 calories every 10 minutes of freestyle is a good measure.
⚬ Swimming increases lung volume and teaches proper breathing techniques. This proves to be most helpful when swimming in the moist air, which helps to reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms.
Swimmer in butterfly during a competition⚬ Improves cholesterol: swimming raises the good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL) because aerobic exercise has proven to do so. Also, swimming keeps the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the arterial walls in good shape.
⚬ Swimming lowers risk of diabetes. (More than 30 percent of children today live with obese related illnesses. Swimming can reduce that!)
⚬ Swimming makes people happy, reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy (replaces cells lost in the brain due to stress). It also enhances self-esteem and provides a high mental attitude.
⚬ Swimming is demagnetizing, grounding and balances people mentally and emotionally.
⚬ Drowning is the number one killer among American children. Learning to swim is preventative!
⚬ It is not an expensive sport. You can start by just buying a bathing suit. I like to swim with goggles and occasional fins. Some never swim without their sunblock, cap, snorkel and waterproof iPod.
Sources: medicine.net, discovery.health.howstuffworks.com,webMD.com, USASwimming.org