Those who are looking to improve their fitness and general health have quite a few different types of exercises to choose from. While it often sounds easier to hop on a treadmill or hit the gym to lift some weights, you might want to take a closer look at swimming. This style of exercise is not only extremely effective, but it is also safe at practically any age. Here are just a few of the reasons why swimming is one of the most popular athletic activities in the world.
It Is Safer Than Many Other Exercises
We now know that healthy adults need a mixture of cardiovascular workouts as well as strength training. That is one of the reasons why so many people turn to running on tracks and treadmills, but those options are extremely hard on your body. Running is considered to be a high-impact exercise, and that means you have a greater risk of damaging your joints and ligaments.
Over the years, many runners struggle with issues such as arthritis in their knees and shin splints. Swimming, on the other hand, is a low-impact exercise that strengthens all of the muscles that improve your posture and balance.
Train All of Your Major Muscle Groups
One of the biggest problems with other popular cardiovascular workouts is that they often only challenge one or two major muscle groups at a time. Many avid runners and cyclists suffer from a variety of chronic injuries because most of the pressure is placed on their hamstrings and glutes.
Depending on what stroke you are using while swimming, you can strengthen practically any major muscle group. During freestyle swims, your core will be activated along with your shoulders and legs. You can then flip over and try out a backstroke to utilize more of your shoulder and back muscles. Professional runners and cyclists often swim during their off seasons in order to balance the development of their muscles.
You Can Start at Any Age
Some of the most popular workouts are completely impractical for seniors and children. Trying to pick up weight training much later on in life can be extremely risky, and it often requires years of practice. It is also difficult for younger children to properly execute more complex weight training movements, and that will put their health at risk.
Swimming can be learned at practically any age, and many parents introduce their children to the water within months of being born. Kids and water go like a hand in a glove, though they may ask a ton of questions, such as, “Why does skin wrinkle in water?” Even older health enthusiasts who have never once been in a pool can often learn the proper form within just a few visits.
Avoid Weight-Related Medical Conditions
Studies continue to show us that swimming is an excellent option for patients who need to shed excess weight. When combined with a healthy diet, you could lose two or more pounds per week if you stick to a rigid workout routine. Staying at a healthy weight will drastically reduce your risk of countless weight-related medical conditions. That includes diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and arthritis.
Obese patients also suffer from much higher rates of mental health conditions such as general anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior. Swimming once every few days could help you achieve the 150 minutes of moderate exercise that all adults should be getting every week.
Those who are still unsure about swimming should take some time to familiarize themselves with the leading research on this activity. Studies continue to show us that swimming can be an excellent addition to any workout routine. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds or would like to supplement your weight training, this activity might be just what you need to reach your fitness goals.