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The Top 10 Benefits of Swimming

Updated on April 11, 2015


Swimming is great for people with bone or joint problems as 90% of the body weight is carried by the water and only 10 percent by yourself. As there is no ground impact, the joins are protected from stress and strain. Joints that have been injured by other types of exercise can be improved through swimming.


Swimming increases your muscle strength and tones your body in a much better way than jogging does for instance. A jogger merely needs to move through the air which requires much less strength than moving through the water as the resistance in the water is 12%-14% higher than on land. Every kick and stroke is a resistance exercise which is known to ideally build muscle strength. Additionally, the body goes through a broad range of motion that helps stretch the body as you glide through the water. Thus swimming improves flexibility, builds up strength and endurance at the same time. It is one of the few sports where this can be achieved simultaneously.



Swimming is one of the best sports to burn a lot of calories in short periods of time. In one hour you can burn between 500 and 650 calories depending on the swim style you use as well as your own physiology. Thus, swimming helps you to stay in shape, control your body weight and feel good with yourself. You won’t feel that bad eating an ice cream or some chocolate once in a while if you swim regularly.



Swimming is a cheap hobby. All you need is swimwear, goggles and a towel. The pool close to you will most likely offer discounts for frequent swimmers.


Swimming helps to prevent diabetes if carried out regularly, such as three times a week for 30 minutes. During the exercise, the muscle cells can absorb blood sugar more efficiently. Thus, swimming is able to lower blood sugar levels. The glucose in the blood is controlled for several hours or even days. For diabetics, it is better to swim regularly but not as intensively rather than less frequently but more intensively. This can guarantee an optimal control of the blood sugar.


Physical exercise releases the feel-good hormones endorphins. So swimming is an ideal way to combat sadness and depression. In addition, swimming has the same effect as yoga when it comes to relaxation. Due to the stretching and relaxation of the muscles during the swim as well as the deep rhythmic breathing, swimming is a real therapy for your body and your mind. Swimming also has a positive effect on the mental health of mothers and their unborn children. And last but not least, the brain benefits from swimming through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis, which replaces cells lost through stress.

All You Need to Know About Swimming


One of the most convincing reasons to go out and swim is surely the fact that swimming may prolong your life. This was found by researchers who followed swimmers for 32 years and discovered that the death rate of swimmers was much lower than that of runners, walkers or men who didn’t do any exercise. And the best thing is that there is no age limit for this sport. Swimming won't harm joints and bones and is thus a suitable sport for people of any age.



Swimming is a sport you can do in the summer and in the winter and in a variety of different waters including pools, lakes, the ocean and rivers. It will cool you off in the summer and lower the risk of overheating which is much higher in non-aquatic sports. In the winter, swimming will cheer you up on dark gloomy days.



Swimming combats diseases. It is great for people with frequent backaches and other back problems and improves posture, balance as well as coordination. Swimming can improve the health of asthma patients due to the moist air they are in when they work out. For people with arthritis, swimming is especially beneficial as it allows them to stretch and work their muscles with no impact. Swimming keeps the right balance of cholesterol in our bodies thanks to the aerobic exercise. Last but not least, swimming is a great way to combat heart diseases. It strengthens the heart, enlarges it and makes it pump more efficiently, improving the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.



Swimming is fun and there are many different strokes that you can practice of which the most common ones are: breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. All of these swim styles distinguish themselves considerably from each other and train different muscle groups. If you are proficient in one swim style, why not try another one to vary it up a bit? Good luck!


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    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 4 weeks ago from U.S, California

      Helpful article! Thank you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 5 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Jennifer. Very useful to know the many benefits of swimming at any age. I'm considering refreshing my memory of basic swimming lessons real soon at my local gym.

    • sehataku profile image

      esa 9 months ago from indonesia

    • CosmoGuru profile image

      CosmoGuru 2 years ago from Ahmedabad

      Swimming is best exercise

    • cobotoozswimwear profile image

      Mark Keane 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Lovely article. Can't argue with any of your benefits. Swimming is an awesome all round exercise.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I started swimming this winter, and have found it to be very enjoyable. Just going to the pool and swimming a few laps 2-3 times a week has helped reduce my chronic pain issues. I have been in a number of accidents in my life, and the warm water and resistance movement has been very therapeutic for me. It has also helped to tone up my muscles and maintain my weight.

    • Jennifer Madison profile image

      Jennifer Madison 4 years ago from Lohmar

      I am glad I may have changed your mind europewalker. I was running a lot for many years but suddenly I started having knee pain (at only 20 years old). I thought that was the end of my running days. Well, then I started to do a combination of running, swimming and cycling. Ever since, my knees are ok! Running and also walking stresses your joints and bones a lot so if you can find an alternative like swimming, you will be ok! It doesn't mean you have to give up walking, you just do less of it. Good luck and thanks for reading!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I agree that swimming has great benefits! These are great advantages to taking a dip in the pool. It's especially great for seniors and people who have joint pain, as you mentioned. Great information. Voted up!

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      Swimming is something I have never been interested in or even tried to do. Your article may make me change my mind though. Swimming may be better for my old bones instead of all the walking that I do:) Voted up.