Everyone knows that swimming and lifeguard training is healthy. But why is that exactly? We’ll tell you about the positive effects swimming has on the body.
Experts and sports enthusiasts have been preaching it for many years, numerous scientific studies confirm it and our own experience also shows it: swimming is healthy. Yes, it might even be the healthiest sport there is. So far, have you still lacked the motivation to buy an annual subscription for the local swimming pool and to swim laps regularly? That changes when you read the top 7 reasons swimming is so healthy.
Prevent pregnancy problems in water
Many pregnant women find exercise in the water pleasant. The body feels light due to the buoyancy. Joints that have to bear the heavier weight in everyday life are relieved. Typical pregnancy symptoms such as water retention and varicose veins can also be alleviated Because the water pressure works on the legs like a natural compression stocking. And very important: the risk of injury when swimming is very low!
Swimming strengthens the heart
Sporty swimming gets the cardiovascular system going and trains the heart muscle in the process. It because of the water pressure, the blood vessels on the surface of the skin constrict. The result: the blood is pushed back into the chest and the heart has to work harder. In the long term, the heart adapts to the load and becomes more efficient.
Relieve back pain and joint problems through water sports
Do you suffer from joint and back pain more often? Then swimming is just right for you! Because in the water the joints and intervertebral discs are relieved. You can also strengthen your core and back muscles with backstroke swimming. In addition, osteoarthritis patients in particular benefit from sports in the water. For them, the recommendation applies: move a lot, but not stress. This is exactly what you can do with swimming. It is important that those affected pay attention to their body image.
Swimming as a natural aid for asthma
Swimming makes the respiratory muscles more resilient and supports the transport of mucus from the lungs – all of this benefits asthmatics. However, beginners should take care to slowly get used to the exertion and to include a warm-up phase and regular recovery phases. Also important: asthmatics should consult their doctor before exercising and be well prepared for medication.
The best sport if you are overweight? Swim!
The buoyancy of water has several advantages for overweight people. You can exercise gently in the pool without overexertion and improve your body awareness over time. Since the circulation, bones, and joints are often pre-stressed in overweight people, swimming is an ideal, gentle introduction to regular exercise. And the low risk of injury is a plus point, especially for untrained people.
Swimming as a full-body workout
When you swim, you strengthen all muscle groups, especially if you vary your swimming styles: Breaststroke especially trains the chest, shoulder, arm, and leg muscles. When crawling, most of the strength comes from the arms, and you also train your shoulders and core. When swimming back, the core and back muscles benefit in particular.
Lose weight healthily by swimming
Swimming can also score points when it comes to calorie consumption – one more reason to replace the fitness studio with the swimming pool: A person weighing 80 kilograms consumes around 344 kilocalories per hour in a slow breaststroke, and around 768 in a fast breaststroke to melt 900 calories. The calorie consumption in water is so high because the body needs the energy to compensate for the temperature difference to the water.
However, if you want to lose weight by swimming, you have to exercise regularly. The European College of Sport Science (ECSS) and American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) recommends 250 minutes of moderate exercise per week for weight loss. That’s around four hours of exercise a week. However, so that swimming remains healthy and does not lead to injuries, for example, you should not overload yourself at the beginning and slowly increase your training quota.
Swimming works your whole body
When swimming, your entire musculoskeletal system works to keep you afloat and move you forward. Buoyancy or not – it’s not for nothing that swimming is considered a full-body workout. Your body performs at its best in the water without you necessarily noticing it. But at the latest when you get out of the pool, you will feel your heavy limbs. This is a sign that you have exercised your body and not just been splashing around.
“When swimming, your body is permanently exposed to water pressure. Almost all muscle groups are used at the same time.”
Arm and shoulder muscles move your body forward in the water.
Your forearm muscles provide your hands with enough strength to push the water away with them. Every stroke of the arm activates the shoulder muscles. The shoulder rotators sit in it. The name says it all: They ensure good rotation of your arms and become active during large arm movements that occur in all swimming styles.
Abdominal and back muscles ensure a good position in the water
While you swim, the abdominal and back muscles are tense. Together they provide a starting point for a stable posture in the water.
Leg muscles coordinate your leg kicks
In the various swimming techniques, you train your muscles in the upper and lower legs to different degrees. Breast swimmers, for example, put more stress on the gluteus maximus, i.e. the large buttock muscles, as well as the lateral thigh, calf, and shin muscles. Freestyle swimmers use their thigh muscles. With simultaneous support of the lower back and the gluteus maximus, the leg kick occurs.
Swimming will help your muscles coordinate better
The simultaneous coordination of the entire body is and remains the main challenge in swimming – especially for beginners. Intramuscular coordination describes the cooperation between muscles and nerves. The rhythm in which you breathe and your legs, arms, shoulders, and torso move during swimming is therefore also a matter of the head – which can be trained. But once all of this has passed into flesh and blood, you switch off while swimming and clear your head 😉