Dive In: The Benefits of Low Impact Training (Like Swimming)

Winter can be an easy time to halt your weekly fitness routine.  Let’s be honest, freezing conditions make watching television and other sedentary activities seem like the better option.  For those with joint issues, or lingering injuries/conditions, the cold weather can cause severe aches and tightness.  Luckily, there are a number of low impact exercises which will help to alleviate those symptoms, with swimming being perhaps the most effective.

According to the NHS, the UK’s national health choice organization, swimming is one of the most beneficial low impact exercises .  Below are just a few of the health benefits you’ll earn in the pool this winter:

BUILD MUSCLE

Swimming is an overlooked aerobic workout when it comes to building/toning muscle.  When swimming, the water provides significant resistance in comparison to running, which involves only moving your body through air.  In addition, because swimming is so easy on your joints, you are building the multiple muscles surrounding that joint, which can help to lessen pain and inflammation over time.

INCREASE FLEXIBILITY

Another physical benefit of Swimming is increased flexibility.  One of the common causes of muscular body aches and pain is simply a lack of flexibility.  Along with increasing strength, swimming will help to increase overall range of motion for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions.

PREVENT ILLNESS

When it comes to exercises for overall health, swimming just may be the best.  Swimming has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type-2 diabetes.  Incorporating swimming into your fitness regimen is one of the best ways to lose and then maintain a healthy body weight.

POSITIVE VIBES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that swimming and other water exercises can increase mental health.  Their studies show that water exercise decreases depression and anxiety and leads to an overall increase in mood.

GENERALLY GOOD

Swimming has also been shown to decrease asthma symptoms and decrease the risk of stroke.  A study done by Dr. Steven Blair of the University of Southern California, showed over the course of 32 years that the death rate of swimmers in comparison to runners, walkers, etc. was 50% lower.

As you can see, swimming is an excellent way to stay in shape.  It is a whole-body workout with numerous health benefits, both physical and mental.  When looking for a workout to add to your routine, or to replace a workout made difficult by the weather, swimming is a great option to consider!

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Nina PfisterComment