Very few methods of exercise are as intense as swimming. If done properly, your body gets an excellent workout while feeling cool and energized at the same time. I should note (as an eye doctor), proper eye protection is essential to your time spent in and/or around the water. Common sense behaviors such as rinsing off before entering/exiting, using eye goggles, removing your contacts and wearing sunglasses are steps in the right direction.

Healthy Benefits of Swimming

  1. It’s a whole body workout
  2. It’s well known that swimming for exercise builds entire body strength and endurance while increasing heart rate and keeping muscles tone. Furthermore, there are several stroke options (breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, etc.) which are all excellent full-body workouts. In other words, if you’re somewhat new to swimming, pick the stroke that works best for you and stick with it until you feel comfortable moving onto something more advanced.

  3. It’s easy on the joints
  4. Over time, activities such as running or weightlifting can do a number on your body’s major joints (knees, shoulders, elbows, hips, etc). That’s definitely not the case with swimming. In fact, swimming has been known to reduce pain (from injuries or arthritis) and help people recover more quickly.

  5. Burns more calories than most other exercises
  6. We’ve all heard stories about Olympic swimmers who can eat everything in sight (literally). This is probably because water provides up to twelve times more resistance than air. This also indicates that intense exercise may have more of an effect than a rigorous approach to dieting. In other words, maintaining a slim/strong may have more to do with exercising than eating.

  7. But no sweat
  8. Let’s face it, there SHOULD be a bit of sweat involved in your exercise routine. However, intense workouts at the gym lead to more perspiration and perspiration leads to sweaty clothes. And sweaty clothes lead to extra loads of laundry, and can be inconvenient when you’re doing things on the fly (like me).

    Swimming keeps the entire body cool and the process of cleaning up is quick and easy (in most cases). On top of that, swimmers only need to rotate a few outfits per week and they don’t need to pack workout shoes and socks, which can make a gym bag heavy (and smelly).

  9. Swimming reduces stress
  10. If you’re swimming to the best of your capabilities, you probably won’t be thinking about too much else while doing so. If you had a stressful day, the pool might be the best place to blow off some steam. Furthermore, if we take some time to exercise at the beginning or the end of the day, stressful situations may not be as heavy a burden as originally thought.

  11. It also improves sleep
  12. Question – What’s a good way to fall asleep at night? Answer – Exhaust yourself during the day. I’m not saying to over exert yourself at work where it’s probably best to conserve your energy. But if you’re a bit restless at the end of the workday, swimming some laps can be instrumental in dealing with nervous energy and tiring yourself out before bedtime.

  13. Swimming is affordable
  14. Unless your local pool is the rooftop pool at a fancy hotel in your city, swimming tends to be easy on the wallet. There’s definitely a challenge in finding the right place to swim, which could be the community pool, an indoor facility, maybe even the lake or beach. However, with the high costs of gym memberships these days, it’s almost certain that swimming will cost less than just about any fitness endeavor, although you may have to become a member to use any given pool.

  15. Kids tend to love it
  16. If I can remember correctly, I used to love spending time at the pool when I was a kid. Now, I’m not sure how much exercise I was doing, but I was definitely having fun and socializing. This led me to enjoy the process of learning how to swim, which laid the groundwork for a healthy and active lifestyle. It also provided a good base for other athletic endeavors.