With summer on the way, relief from the heat can be found in the water. But did you know that swimming can be a great exercise to add to your routine? Very few exercises provide muscle toning and cardiac benefits like laps in a pool. Here is a list of three of the best reasons why you should consider swimming:
- Swimming is a low impact exercise
Exercises like running put stress on your bones, muscles, and joints and can be difficult for seniors and those suffering from injuries. When you are immersed in waist level water, your body becomes 50% lighter, relieving you of the harsh impact on your joints that are a part of high impact exercises like running. Water based exercises and hydrotherapy can improve pain on joints affected with arthritis without having to sacrifice a rigorous cardio workout.
- Swimming increases muscle tone, strength, and flexibility
Swimmers must propel themselves through water. Your legs kick and arms pull as you reach, stretch, and move every part of your body against the water. Runners only have to move against air. Swimmers must work against the increased resistance which builds muscle strength and tone. The repetitive motion of stretching your arms and legs improves flexibility and range of motion.
- Swimming can improve mental well-being
Swimming can also be calming to the mind. Similar to running, you can achieve a “swimmer’s high,” or a release of feel good endorphins that can make you feel more energetic and happier. Repetitive motion, rhythmic breathing, and the sound of water rushing by can create the same relaxing feeling as yoga and meditation. Taking deep and controlled breaths relaxes the body as well as improves lung function. As you breathe deeply and exhale slowly, you allow your lungs to fill to capacity. This improves lung efficiency by bringing more oxygen into the blood and creates a meditative state of mind as you move through the water.
When swimming outside, make sure there is always a life guard on duty. To protect yourself from sun damage, reapply your sunscreen (you need about a shot glass amount to cover your body) each time you get out of the water.
At our Auburn location, we offer an array of water-based techniques designed to help patients recover from injury. We have a team of specialized aquatic physical therapists. Our 8’x10’ pool is set to the ideal water temperature of 94.5° for your comfort.
Backstroke, breaststroke, or freestyle, swimming is a low impact yet rigorous exercise that people of all ages can perform.
For thirty years, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. has been championing for healthier lifestyles for its patients and the communities it serves, with the goal of increasing mental and physical well-being and helping to prevent health-related conditions. For appointment to discuss how SCPT can help you achieve your well-being needs, call us today at 508.832.2628.