Why Swimming Should Be Your Next Go-To Workout

Unsplash/Haley Phelps

So much of the fitness space today operates in extremes. We should either rep till we drop in CrossFit or meditate so long after a yoga class that our sense of Zen never leaves our bodies. It’s times like these that we really need to learn how to strike a balance when it comes to physical strength, mental health and longevity.

And that’s where swimming comes in.

Physical Benefits

This water-bound sport and personal workout is one of the most effective, well-rounded methods of exercise available to us. It works every main muscle group in your body, strengthening the arms, legs, core, back, shoulders and glutes, while making minimal negative impact on your joints. And the cardiovascular endurance you build from swimming lap after lap is significant. Not to mention it even promotes muscle flexibility as you tone. It accomplishes the coveted trifecta of fitness.

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Medical Benefits

In regards to its medical benefits, swimming truly is a lifetime sport. Once you learn how to stay afloat, you can enjoy this exercise method well into your later years. It’s scientifically proven to help boost your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and reduce those not-so-good trigylcerides, decrease blood pressure (which is key for us more stress-prone folks), and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Research also suggests that time in the water can help alleviate exercise-induced asthma, reduce inflammation throughout the body and burn major calories.

Mental Benefits

The rhythmic effect of moving through the water has been known to help people struggling with anxiety, depression and chronic stress achieve a more meditative mindset during their exercise time, which carries over in the hours (and sometimes days) following time in the pool. The water provides an automatic¬†quiet space to do some of your best thinking and information processing and for people who just don’t love exercising in general, the change of venue can be just the refresher they need to get back into a healthy routine.

So for those of you who despise the gym or can’t seem to get into the yogi mindset, consider joining a local pool or diving into your nearest (clean) body of water. You won’t regret it.