What are the health benefits of swimming?

Gracewell  |  November 29, 2016
Here's why swimming is such a beneficial exercise.
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Physical activity is an important way to stay healthy, especially as you grow older.

Swimming is a wonderful activity for older adults because it comes with numerous benefits. The National Health Service reported that it can reduce the risk of illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Likewise it is a great way to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

Integrating regular swimming into your weekly routine is an excellent way to stay active and limber. Happily, swimming can be enjoyed by people of different fitness levels. 

The health benefits
Habitual exercise is important for keeping the body healthy and strong. Just Swim found that although water supports the body and is gentle on joints, it simultaneously makes you work harder. As a result, you can get the same level of work out with 30 minutes of swimming as you would get from 45 minutes of a traditional exercise. In that time, you can burn over 200 calories, which is twice as much as you would walking. 

Because this is such a powerful yet low-impact form of exercise, it's perfect for older adults living with osteoporosis, similar ailments or recovering from an injury. It is an efficient way to build cardiovascular fitness and maintain a healthy weight, both of which are essential in minimising the risk of heart attack and stroke. At the same time, you might feel more energised and less stressed after a few weeks of swimming. Exercise releases natural endorphins that reduce anxiety and tension.

Getting started
Even beginners can reap the rewards of such a powerful form of exercise, and all you need is a swimming costume. Be sure to select one that is comfortable. Research fitness centres that have pools and find a time that you can consistently work out. Talk with a GP if you're worried about any preexisting health concerns.

Any amount of exercise is beneficial, so be sure to not over-extend yourself during your first few sessions. Prepare by staying hydrated and eating plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables. This will ensure your body has the proper fuel it needs.