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Swim As Often As You Can For At Least 10 Health Benefits | Amoils.com

Added February 10, 2012, Under: Exercise, Health, Pregnancy, Top 10

Jane swimming-4 (2)Competitive swimmers are always in fantastic shape but even those who just swim for leisure and for pleasure know that they not only look great on the outside but feel just as good on the inside.

The health benefits of swimming are almost unmatched by just about any other sport or exercise.  I have enjoyed swimming all my life – whenever and wherever I can.

Why is swimming so beneficial?

Swimming is a great workout because you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water. Swimming helps with all round exercise, including the heart, lungs and muscles, but with very little joint strain. It conditions the whole body and the best strokes for this are freestyle, breast stroke and backstroke. And don’t forget that even if laps are not your forte, there are plenty of other good swimming exercises. Try walking or running in water, which many people find easier to do than on land. Treading can be exhausting but it will help tone your legs and arms.

Here are many more health benefits

1.  Swimming is a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise, helping to alleviate stress. You can let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke, helping you gain a feeling of well-being so that you leave the water refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of your day. Swimming is so relaxing because it allows more oxygen to flow to your muscles and forces you to regulate your breathing. A pleasant side effect is the release of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. Apart from the metaphysical benefits of swimming, research has shown that it can actually change the brain for the better through a process, known as hippocampal neurogenesis, in which the brain replaces cells lost through stress.

2.  Swimming provides a good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions because there is no stress on your bones, joints or connective tissues due to buoyancy and the fact that you weigh 1/10th less in water. You can carry out a rigorous work out with a reduced chance of swimming injuries, putting the body through a broad range of motion that help joint and ligaments stay loose and flexible. With every stroke, as you reach forward, you lengthen the body making it more efficient in the water and helping to give you a good stretch from head to toe.

3.  Pregnant women benefit from swimming because it helps strengthen the shoulder and abdominal muscles, which can be strained when carrying a baby. Many people with certain health conditions such as arthritis find swimming particularly helpful because it is low impact, relaxes stiff muscles and is not weight-bearing. Swimming also increases circulation. When the human body is submerged in water, it automatically becomes lighter. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50% of its weight; dip down to the to the chest and that number reduces to around 25-35% while with water all the way to the neck, you only have to bear 10% of your own weight.

4.  Swimming can improve your blood pressure because studies have shown that a workout routine that includes swimming can reduce and possibly prevent high blood pressure, which in turn lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.

5.  Swimming can even rectify your cholesterol levels because of its aerobic power, ensuring higher levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

6. Swimming keeps your heart rate up because it is an aerobic exercise. Swimming strengthens the heart by helping it to become larger and more efficient in pumping, leading to better blood flow throughout your body. The American Heart Association reports that just 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30-40%. In addition, swimming can also keep your endothelium in good shape. The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the arteries but which tends to lose flexibility as you age.

7.  Swimming is now recognized as one of the biggest calorie burners around, and it’s great for keeping weight under control. Of course the number of calories burned would depend on your make up and how hard you exercise but every bit helps.

8.  While swimming does not help with bone density, because you need weight bearing exercises for that, it does improve bone strength – especially in post-menopausal women. Every kick and every arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise, helping to build muscle tone and strength.

9.  Swimming improves coordination, balance and posture.

10. Swimming provides the perfect way to cool down on a hot day whether in a pool, lake, ocean, dam or river. Just make sure the environment you choose is safe. And when the weather is no longer hot, find a way to use a heated pool for year round exercise.

Swimming is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime.

Make swimming part of your regular exercise routine.

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