search

Health Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

Swimming works your whole body, improving cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, posture, and flexibility all at the same time. Your cardiovascular system in particular benefits because swimming improves your body’s use of oxygen without overworking your heart. As you become more fit and are able to swim longer, your resting heart rate and respiratory rate will be reduced, making blood flow to the heart and lungs more efficient.

Simply put, some call swimming the perfect form of exercise.

Additional Health Benefits of Swimming

  • Whole body conditioning: Swimming tones your upper and lower body because you’re using almost all of your major muscle groups. The best strokes for all-over body toning are the freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke.
  • Low risk of injury: There is a low risk for swimming injuries because there’s no stress on your bones, joints or connective tissues due to buoyancy and the fact that you weigh 1/10th less in water. If you’re looking for a safe daily workout routine, swimming is ideal because you can rigorously work out with a reduced chance of swimming injuries. Many athletes supplement their training with swimming.
  • Low-impact exercise: So many people can reap the benefits of swimming. Pregnant women benefit from swimming because it helps strengthen the shoulder and abdominal muscles, which can be strained when carrying a baby. The elderly, women who have had a mastectomy, and those recovering from an injury often turn to swimming or water aerobic exercises because it’s low impact, helps relax stiff muscles and isn’t weight-bearing. Swimming also increases circulation.
  • Improve blood pressure: Studies have shown that a workout routine that includes swimming can help reduce and possibly prevent high blood pressure, which lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Stress reduction: You don’t have to be a water sign in the zodiac to feel the meditative and healing properties of water. Swimming is extremely relaxing because it allows more oxygen to flow to your muscles and forces you to regulate your breathing. It’s also a great way to relieve stress. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water so it’s no wonder why some feel such a draw to the water.
  • A great way to burn calories: With regard to weight loss, fitness swimming gives you the best aerobic workout with the least amount of joint stress or impact. The amount of calories burned during a swimming routine will vary based on their weight, the intensity of their workout, conditioning level, and metabolism. The table below will provide comparative information about calories burned for different types of activities.

Activity (1hr)

130 lbs

155 lbs

180 lbs

205 lbs

Running  10 min mile

590

704

817

931

Walking  4.5mph

372

443

515

586

Swimming Backstroke

413

493

572

651

Swimming Breaststroke

590

704

817

931

Swimming Butterfly

649

774

899

1024

Swimming Freestyle Moderate

413

493

572

651

Swimming  Freestyle Fast

590

704

817

931

Aerobics, high impact

413

493

572

651

Step Aerobics

502

598

695

791

Water Aerobics

236

281

327

372

Cycling 10 mph leisure

354

422

490

558

Cycling 14-15.9 mph

413

493

604

931

Cycling, mountain bike

502

598

695

791

 

If laps aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other good swimming exercises. Try walking or running in water, which many people find easier to do than on land. Tread water – it can be exhausting but will help tone your legs and arms.

You can also try water aerobic exercises with our aquatic classes or gather your friends and join the synchronized swimming water polo or triathlon teams here at the SRC. You could also just revert back to your childhood with a game of Shark or some relay races. The water is an ideal playground for all forms of swimming as exercise – just be creative!

Sources: Nutristrategy.com and Lifestyle: Healthy living for women