The Health Benefits of Swimming

“Swimming is a non-weight-bearing sport,” says Dr. Ronald W. Davidson, a New York City general practitioner. “You can actually move your arms and legs without the problem of gravity. At times what movements you can do in a swimming pool cannot be done on land.

Some of the health benefits of swimming are:

  1. Swimming is perfect for those people who have a hard time carrying out weight-bearing, land-based physical activities. This is because your weight in water is about 1/10 of your weight on land. You feel lighter.
  2. Swimming minimizes the risk of injuries from physical activity. So, you can easily try out the delightful exercise and enjoy the health fitness benefits it offers, without any attached risk.
  3. You can indulge in swimming before as well as after a strenuous workout on ground, as a warm-up and cool-down activity, respectively.
  4. Researches indicate Swimming helps maintain the blood pressure and cholesterol of a person, thus ensuring the well being of his/her heart.
  5. It is good for the health of your lungs and also reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.
  6. Doctors recommend that indulging in swimming can help post-surgery patients, the heart patients and those who adopt an otherwise sedentary lifestyle to avoid muscular atrophy.
  7. Swimming enhances the flexibility of your joints and provides the scope for boosting your physical activity workout level.
  8. It not only helps you in the management of weight but offers you great variety of water related activity programmes like water aerobics.
  9. Further, researches done on the disabled people or the people with weaker limbs, have shown improvement in the gaining of strength of weaker muscles with swimming. With my own experience of teaching swimming to the differently abled students I noticed not only the gain of physical strength but tremendous sense of confidence and empowerment.
  10. Swimming is also recommended as one of the safest modes of exercise to pregnant women. Now days the concept of delivering the baby in water/ water pool is coming up in India as well. This gives the new born the feel of the womb.
  11. The people who are suffering from arthritis and back pain problem who cannot indulge in a normal workout, can undertake swimming. Swimming has been associated with relieving the joint pains as well. It is found to have soothing effect on the mind as well as the body of a person, mainly by regulating breathing and stimulating circulation.

Moving on from the physical and physiological benefits to the psychological benefit to swimming,

  • Relax and swim with a very low effort.
  • Let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke.
  • This form of meditation can help you gain a feeling of well-being, leaving your water session refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of your day.
  • Also, swimming at the end of the day refreshes you and help in de-stressing.

The indirect benefit of swimming are: it helps swimmers to develop life skills such as sportsmanship, time-management, self-discipline and goal-setting.

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