by RUTH KHANNA | 22nd Nov, 2018
Swimming has long been recommended for a variety of reasons – for weight loss, to build stamina, promote wellbeing, and build muscle tone, amongst numerous other benefits. It is, quite simply, the best form of exercise that you can choose. So take the plunge and dive into the nearest swimming pool. It will become your most favorite form of aerobic activity, before long!
Most of us are aware that swimming improves the heart rate and blood flow, and thus improves the metabolism and enables you to maintain a healthy weight. However, few people realize the therapeutic benefits of swimming. It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and is also one of the most beneficial means of Physical Therapy. This is an activity that involves broad movements in different planes of motion, which challenge your joints, ligaments, and muscles in a unique way. As you reach with each stroke, swimming allows the body to lengthen and stretch out from the fingertips to the toes, to increase flexibility. It thus makes it particularly beneficial for those with arthritis and joint pain, or people suffering from obesity issues.
Swimming is just about the most ideal resistance training, as you can perform this activity every day, with a much lower risk of injury. When you are training, water can be used to assist, resist or support the body, depending on your need. It is an accommodating resistance, which means that as you move faster through the water, you encounter more resistance. Every kick and every arm movement becomes a resistance exercise as you swim through the water.
Swimming and pool workouts make an excellent rehabilitation programme as the buoyancy of the water supports tender muscles and joints, and allows the performance of gentle movements often not possible on land. When immersed at waist depth, approximately 50 percent of your body weight is supported by the water, while at chest height this increases to 75 percent, and when immersed to the neck, 90 percent of your weight is supported. This has great implications for patients with injured joints.
There are innumerable benefits of swimming, but one of the key reasons why it is advantageous to take up this exercise on a regular basis is because it relieves depression to a powerful extent. Swimming stimulates brain chemicals that foster the growth of nerve cells and affects neurotransmitters such as serotonin that influence mood and produce ANP, a stress-reducing hormone which helps control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety.
Above all, swimming is an exercise that you can enjoy with others, like your family or friends.
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