It’s that time of year when we start thinking about improving our fitness levels and overall health, ready for an action packed summer. Swimming has many benefits to health which makes it one of the best forms of exercise to hit all your fitness goals. Whatever your age or fitness level; swimming is for everyone. Need some convincing? Take a look at the top 5 reasons why you should incorporate a swim into your fitness regime.
1. Building immune support
Swimming, as with any aerobic exercise, has been shown to boost the immune system in general. However, cold water swimming has the added benefit of activating a particular immune response, as the cold stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and repair. A scientific study has shown that participants who regularly immersed themselves in cold water had a higher white blood cell count and other associated immune factors.
2. Deepen sleep
Obviously a swimming session can be physically tiring which means that you will be ready for a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. Aside from this, swimming can improve sleep quality through the tension and stress relief it provides.
3. Reduce muscle soreness
Swimming is often used as a common method for rehabilitation after injuries or muscular pain. It’s also a non-weight bearing exercise which is ideal if you suffer from aching joints, as up to 90% of the body’s weight is supported in the water. Studies have shown that swimming produces lower levels of the pro-inflammatory C - reactive protein, which in turn can be linked to musculoskeletal disorders. The stretching action involved in swimming also improves flexibility and stretches out tight muscles.
4. Burn calories – weight management
If your goal is to burn calories, then swimming is the exercise for you! A 1 hour swim session can burn anywhere in the region of 400-700 calories depending on the intensity and type of stroke. In addition to weight loss, swimming also adds tone and definition to the body through working many muscle groups at once.
5. Improve circulation - cardio
As swimming is a high endurance and low resistance form of exercise, you can expect to see an improvement in your blood circulation and blood pressure. Swimming strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the delivery of oxygen to all parts of the body. It truly is one of the best cardiovascular workouts.