The benefits of swimming are endless. When the weather is perfect or even if you have access to indoor pools, the health, recreation and athletic benefits of swimming help a variety of individuals dealing with injuries or weight loss. This list of reasons to swim will make you jump in the pool quicker than you can say "cannonball!"
There are no issues with ground impact when you are in the water. If you want to protect your joints from any type of stress, swimming is the best way to do so. Older individuals, injured athletes and overweight persons are able to work out without suffering any damage. The Arthritis Foundation recommends water activities for these benefits, and they even sponsor classes. Water aerobics are especially popular because you can use a floating device to make it even easier to work out in the water.
Swim for A Lifetime
Since there aren't the same impact issues as with running or walking, swimming can continue from youth to senior age. There is even a swimming competition with an age bracket for people between 100 and 104 years old! (www.usms.org) Jack La Lanne not only recommended daily swimming, he did it and lived to be 96 years old.
Improves Cardiorespiratory Health
Swimming also helps you build endurance. One study showed that middle-aged men and women who led very sedentary lives were able to swim train for 12 weeks, improving oxygen consumption by 10 percent and the amount of blood pumped by the heart with each beat (stroke volume) by 18 percent.
Increase Muscle Mass
Another study followed men who finished an 8-week swim program. A nearly 24 percent increase was found in triceps muscles, which are the back muscles in the upper arms. If you don't have a lot of experience with resistance training, it's easy to start building this muscle mass in your arms, too.
Awesome for Injuries
Water allows for no impact exercise, which is great for individuals who have suffered any type of injury particularly to the feet, legs and back. Swimming can help injured persons stay in shape because swimming in water provides natural resistance to make muscles work harder.
Swimming is also a great, fun family activity. And while we are on that topic, compliments of www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org, here are the ABC & D's f drowning prevention:
Simple Rules to Stay Safe Around Water
• A = Adult Supervision
• B = Barriers (for your pool)
• C = Classes (swim lessons and CPR)
• D = Devices (personal flotation devices (PFD's), life jackets, and rescue tools)
More helpful information can be found on their website.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen. And please read our Medical Disclaimer while applying sunscreen . . . or even now.
Health & Wellness . . . You're Worth It!
Dr. Kate Gerber & Dr. John Gerber