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Five Reasons Why Swimming Is the Perfect Exercise

Updated on March 5, 2015
Swimming is a great way to stay fit, lose weight and have fun
Swimming is a great way to stay fit, lose weight and have fun | Source

Introduction

Swimming is just about the best all round exercise that you can do, especially as you get older. Whether you're swimming for technique, flexibility, strength, fitness or something else, there are always new physical and mental challenges you can set yourself in the swimming pool.

This article explores five great reasons to go swimming and suggests different things that we can do to keep swimming interesting, including:

  • It builds up your strength, suppleness and stamina
  • There's always a new technique to learn when swimming
  • You can easily vary how you exercise
  • Swimming is a great way to lose weight and keep fit
  • It strengthens different parts of your body

Swimming builds up your strength, suppleness and stamina

Whereas many other exercises only focus on one or two areas (for example, weights build your strength, long-distance running builds your stamina), swimming is an excellent exercise for your overall strength, suppleness and stamina.

You'll develop stronger muscles as you tone and exercise your body against the resistance of the water, you'll build up flexibility through the full range of movements in your joints and you'll improve your endurance as you swim greater and greater distances.

Build up your strength, flexibility and endurance through rigorous swimming
Build up your strength, flexibility and endurance through rigorous swimming | Source

There's always a new technique to learn

Whether you're trying to learn a new swimming stroke, perfecting the various movements of an existing one or trying to make your breathing, dives and turns better, there are always new and interesting ways to push yourself.

You could focus on finding the perfect angle for your stroke, getting the rhythm between your arms and legs right or timing your breathing so that it's as effortless as possible.

You can easily vary how you exercise when swimming

It's easy to change things up when swimming; you could try breathing on just one side or only breathing on every second or third stroke. You might want to see how far you can swim underwater or try different kinds of turns.

You could do half a length with one kind of swimming stroke and half a length with another. There are many ways that you can vary what you do in the swimming pool to keep things interesting for yourself.

There are lots of different tweaks and techniques that you can use when swimming
There are lots of different tweaks and techniques that you can use when swimming | Source

It's a great way to lose weight and keep fit

Swimming is an incredibly good workout for your whole body. It can be a great way to lose weight, tone up your arms, legs, thighs, tummy, chest and bottom and can significantly improve your overall level of fitness.

It will also help your lung capacity, circulation and your cardiovascular system.

Everyone, no matter what their age, can get something out of swimming
Everyone, no matter what their age, can get something out of swimming | Source

It strengthens different parts of your body

One of the reasons swimming is great is because it's a whole body workout. There aren't many other exercises that will strengthen your shoulders at the same time as strengthening your abs and your ankles!

You're utilizing almost every major muscle group when swimming, and because you're just going against the resistance of the water, it's a safer way to keep those muscles in shape.

How to learn to swim

What do you enjoy most about swimming?

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In closing

Swimming is one of the best ways to keep fit in a safe, gentle and fun way, especially as we get older.

If you've not started yet, try finding a pool near you to see how much you enjoy it. If you're already an avid swimmer, try out some different techniques and swimming strokes to keep things interesting.

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    • Paul Maplesden profile image
      Author

      Paul Maplesden 2 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I know that many people find it very helpful for rehabilitation, strength, suppleness and stamina. Thanks for the comment.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub about the benefits of swimming!

      I completely agree with you that swimming is perfect exercise for the above mentioned reasons.

      Thanks and voted up!

    • Paul Maplesden profile image
      Author

      Paul Maplesden 2 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I am so glad to hear that swimming is working as part of your rehabilitation process. I think it's often overlooked as a great way to recover and as a whole body exercise. I wish you well with your complete recovery.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 2 years ago from Nottingham UK

      In my current recovery from a broken leg i've been using swimming as part of my rehab as the water is great for taking pressure off my leg whilst making my ankle work in ways its not used to as a non regular swimmer. Nixe hub CF

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