Looking for an alternative to the gym or considering your options for starting an exercise regime? Then here are just 5 reasons why your next workout should be a swim:
1. It Helps You to Lose Weight
Swimming is one of the most efficient ways to ditch the calories and lose weight. According to recent studies, swimming freestyle at a slow pace for 30-minutes can burn around 350 calories depending on the weight and speed of the person.Compared to the same amount of time spent doing other moderate activities like walking (75 Kcal), cycling (180 Kcal) and running (300 Kcal), it’s one of the easiest (and least sweaty!) ways to lose weight.
2. It Works Your Cardiovascular System
Swimming is a great form of aerobic exercise that can help to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. In just two 30-minute swims a week, you could reduce your risk of developing health conditions and also enjoy greater energy levels, an increased metabolism, improved circulation and better quality sleep.
3. It Gives You a Natural High
Exercise affects your hormones so while you swim, your body will naturally decrease the production of cortisol which is responsible for stress, and increase the production of feel-good endorphins and serotonin which are responsible for happiness to give you a natural high. Apart from putting a smile on your face, these hormones can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression and reduce your perception of pain to put a spring in your step that lasts much longer than your swim.
4. It’s Low Impact
Almost all forms of land-based exercise will place some stress on your joints, particularly the hips, knees and ankles and this can cause discomfort, exacerbate health conditions like arthritis and even cause new injuries to develop that prevent you from being active. Swimming is different. With the natural buoyancy of the water supporting your body weight, you can eliminate joint stress to enjoy all the benefits of a workout without risk of injury. It’s so effective that swimming is often recommended by physiotherapists as a means of recovering from injury, minimising common aches and pains and staying active throughout pregnancy.
Even the gentlest of swims can help you to stretch, lengthen and tone muscles and ligaments to improve your flexibility, much like yoga and Pilates can. However, with the water supporting your body weight, you can loosen and work the joints without putting any pressure on them to improve your overall flexibility, balance and posture.