With all the health benefits swimming offers it is no wonder than many Australian choose to participate in the sport either regularly or occasionally. A study conducted by Roy Morgan showed that over a three-month period, over six million Australians swam in some capacity.
Swimming provides a full body workout
Swimming engages almost all muscle groups within the body including abdominals, arms, backs, legs and shoulders. This allows you to tone your muscles, build endurance and build strength.
Swimming strengthens the heart, as well as raising your heart rate without placing extra stress on your body. Swimming can improve the heart’s pumping function and result in lowering blood pressure.
Swimming creates a more comfortable way of exercising as the water provide support and eliminates stress placed on ankles, feet, knees and hips. Swimming will continue to provide weight loss benefits as swimmers become lighter, they also become less buoyant which means they have increased energy expenditure to stay afloat.
Benefits those with pre-existing health conditions and disabilities
For asthmatics, swimming assists in strengthening the lungs and has a range of breathing exercise benefits. Swimming is a form of active stretching and can improve flexibility and decrease pain for those with arthritis. For people with disabilities, swimming can improve motor skills and also physical fitness.
Swimming improves mood in both men and women and can decrease anxiety. It is an excellent form of stress relief and can improve sleep. Swimming also offers a social benefit in that participating in a recreational sport can help in making new friends, develop relationships, as well as strength family connections.
To start reaping all the above benefits, jump into your backyard pool, head to the local swimming pool or enjoy a swim in the ocean and start working towards 30-60 minute of swimming three times a week.
It is important to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before starting an exercise program.