Swimming works your arms, abs, shoulders, back muscles, glutes, and legs as you kick and stroke your way through the workout. It allows you to reach maximum heart rate, keeping you in the cardiovascular calorie-burning mode. In water, you eliminate repetitive contact with hard concrete every step, as with running, which can stress your joints and lead to discomforts like shin splints and knee problems. Additionally, swimming is excellent for your heart, lungs, and blood flow.The calorie burn is dependent on your weight and fitness level, as with any exercise, but it’s reported that a 155-pound adult can burn 493-704 calories swimming freestyle, dependent on speed. Swimming is an excellent lifestyle choice for maintaining a healthy weight and overall body positivity.
The low-impact nature of the sport is ideal for those trying to not stress their muscles due to injury, age, or pre-existing health conditions.
If you have a pool, try switching to saltwater to see benefits for your skin, too.
Like any exercise, swimming releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural feel-good, mood-booster hormones. But swimming takes it to the next level when it comes to mindfulness.Swimming is tremendous for the mind and soul. Underwater, there’s nothing but the sound of your beating heart and splashing of your legs behind you. There’s something almost magical about the privacy you get underwater—no phone calls from your iPhone you have to use to play music, no texts on your smartwatch, or no bypassers breaking your mojo on a neighborhood run.
Even just floating in water can decrease anxiety. This study is one of many to prove that immersing yourself in water increases blood to the brain, thereby increasing oxygen to the brain for improved brain function. Think of a spa—the running water, the soothing sounds… These are all part of swimming. Consider it a spa day and trip to the gym rolled into one.
The repetitive nature of swimming can keep your mind occupied—similar to meditation. Your sole focus is on your breath and your body’s methodical movements. Stroke, stroke, breathe.