Swimming offers numerous benefits for physical and mental health including alleviation of stress, enhanced endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. It also poses some dangers including germ exposure, drowning, and injury. In order to have the best swimming experience possible, it is important to keep in mind the benefits and risks of swimming and to understand basics such as swim safety guidelines and swimmer’s ear treatment methods.
Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise that yields cardiovascular benefits, increases endurance, and strengthens muscles. It is widely regarded as one of the best forms of exercise for seniors. The health benefits of swimming can promote physical fitness and overall well-being for years to come.
Mental Health and Well-Being
Engaging in physical activity on a regular basis stimulates chemicals that increase positive feelings. Widely considered to be a peaceful and relaxing form of exercise, swimming can lead to improved mood levels and even help to lower anxiety and depression in some people, particularly those with conditions such as fibromyalgia. In addition to reducing stress and contributing to a positive state of mind, swimming also provides increased opportunities for socialization, since it can be done with family and friends, which can lead to greater levels of happiness.
Perhaps you are on the fence about the purchase of a swimming pool. It is a major expense after all, and since people are being much more prudent with their finances these days, what factors would most entice you into becoming a first-time pool owner? The two major factors would be personal convenience and a healthy lifestyle. A pool is a present you give yourself and your family for a lifetime of health benefits. Swimming health benefits far trump the convenience of having a pool at your disposal for a daily swimming session in warm weather months.
Feel like a swim?
Before delving into the health benefits of owning a pool, just the idea of a swim in the pool after a stressful day at work sounds inviting doesn’t it? Sure, health club memberships, a trip to the “Y” or open swimming nights at the local high school are cost-effective ways to incorporate swimming into your exercise routine, but sometimes your schedule and theirs don’t jibe. Since this is a cold-weather state, you might try those options when your backyard pool is closed for the season, but there are many, many calendar days in which to use and enjoy your own backyard pool. Swimming, just like most other forms of exercise, is a mood enhancer – it releases endorphins which help to eliminate stress and put you in “a happy place”. So, whether you start your day with a brisk morning swim, cool off with a jump in the pool during the heat of the day, or enjoy a long and leisurely night-time swim, there are many health benefits to swimming as you will see below
Different strokes for different folks
There are a wide variety of pools to suit every swimmer’s needs and backyard living space. Some people prefer the luxury of an Olympic-sized pool for leisurely swimming or simple water exercises, where other swimmers get a powerful water workout and burn off significant calories by swimming laps in a swim spa or a lap pool. A swim spa is a hybrid of a pool and spa and has water jets against which the swimmer must swim against a constant flow of water which provides an intense workout. A swim spa is ideal for small yards, as is a lap pool, because the latter’s shape is long and narrow and takes up minimal space in your backyard living area. A pool contractor in Westchester who specializes in pool construction and pool design can help you plan your swimming pool around your backyard living area as well as assist in addressing your particular pool needs.
Health benefits of swimming
Swimming on a regular basis is a wise move because swimming benefits those of all ages. It is a superlative cardiovascular and aerobic exercise, no matter what age you are, or what shape you are in. Swimming is considered to be one of the biggest calorie burners around and good for keeping weight under control. Just thirty minutes of lap swimming a day will burn up to eight times the calories of a typical sedentary activity, such as watching TV or talking on the phone. Swimming tones all the visible muscles, and conditions your most-important muscle in your body – your heart.
• Using a pool benefits older folks. Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system. When the human body is submerged in water, it automatically becomes lighter. This means that the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you are overweight or suffer from arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation endorses pool use for people with arthritis because swimming stretches muscles and that provides an aerobic workout, which loosening of the stiff joints becomes beneficial for arthritis sufferers. If the pool is heated, the warm water can loosen stiff joints and decreases the pain from osteoarthritis.
• Water workouts for weight reduction. If you are overweight, it is often difficult and taxing to just get around. Overweight people are often chastised for their inability to lose weight, for example, on an exercise program. A severe exercise program could cause pain or injury due to lack of mobility, especially in the case of morbidly obese persons. A gentler and easier way to exercise for weight reduction is by using a swimming pool. An overweight person can adjust to a swimming regimen easier than other aerobic exercises which are taxing on the body. Swimming is an excellent way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone. If someone posed the question of which exercise benefits you more – jogging or swimming, chances are you would say the former. But this is not true. A jogger while running around a track merely moves his or her body through the air, while a swimmer propels him or herself through the water, a substance which is twelve times as dense as air. That means that every kick or arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise. Resistance exercises are the best means to build muscle tone and strength.
• Swimming improves flexibility. If you are in good physical shape, that first snowfall of the year, or the Spring yard cleanup, causes the use of muscles that might not have been active in awhile, and renders you feeling like you were run over by a Mack truck the next day. Even if you exercise faithfully all year around, if you are not limber, face it – exercise to seldom-used muscles will cause you pain. At the gym, you can target specific body parts for flexibility, but this is done machine-by-machine on each part of the body and is painstaking, and might be painful. Swimming puts your entire body through a broad range-of-motion exercises that serve to keep your ligaments loose and flexible. The arms move in wide arcs, the hips are engaged as the legs scissor through the water and the head and spine twist from side to side. Every stroke you make while in the water actually serves to lengthen your body, making you more efficient in the water and giving you a good stretch from head to toe.
• Swimming is heart smart (especially for women). Besides toning you thoroughly, swimming conditions and improves the hardest-working, and most-important, muscle in the body – the heart. Swimming strengthens the heart, and, unbelievably, actually helps the heart not only become larger, but makes it more efficient at pumping blood, causing better blood flow throughout the body. According to the American Heart Association, women who exercise 30 minutes a day, like swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease as much as 30-40 percent.
More ways that swimming has a wealth of health benefits:
• Swimming has been shown to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women. Swimming helps allergy sufferers, because swimming happens in the water, thus it is moist air. Asthma sufferers who were forced to give up any other type of exercise regimen due to their condition will soon find swimming on a regular basis will improve their asthma overall, even up to a year after the swimming program has ceased. Lastly, swimming reduces your blood pressure.
There you have it – all the benefits of swimming. Now, all you need to do is take the plunge and call your local pool construction contractor today.