If you have been inspired by the London 2012 Olympics, then you may be tempted to try out some of the televised sports for yourself. Whilst most Olympic sports require a great deal of all-round fitness, you may be surprised to know that swimming can offer you some fantastic health and fitness benefits that other sports cannot. Most towns have a public swimming pool within easy reach and you can make your swimming pursuits a real family affair.
The great thing about swimming is that it allows you to give your body a really good work-out without any harsh impact on your skeletal system at all and this is because once your body is submerged, you actually become lighter. So if you suffer from stiff or inflexible joints, are overweight or are just generally unfit, swimming can be a real boost to your aim to become fitter and healthier. You will soon know that you have had an excellent work-out but you will quite quickly start to feel the benefits. It’s even fantastic for those who have joint debilitating diseases such as arthritis and regular swimming sessions have been proven to help to lessen pain.
So whilst it’s great for pain relief, it will also have your body taking on a long sleek look as well and this change in your physiology starts as your muscles become stronger and your muscle tone becomes more defined. This toning and lengthening process works by using resistance as you cut through water and swimming has even been stated as to help your overall bone strength. Flexibility improves too, simply through the wide range of movements associated with each different stroke and as you strive to move forward through the water, you lengthen your body too.
Many people fail to get enough cardiovascular exercise but because swimming is also an aerobic exercise it works to help strengthen your heart and this leads to improved blood flow. 30 minutes of exercise each day can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and blood pressure and swimming can be a fun way to do just that. Of course you don’t have to head off to the swimming pool each and every day unless you are really planning on entering the next Olympics but in the meanwhile, you can indulge in some other sports to ensure that your exercise routine stays fun and varied.
If you want to lose weight, another fact that proves that swimming is good for you is that it gives you the opportunity to participate in an activity that really does burn up the calories. Of course the true number of calories depends on the intensity of exercise and your own physiology. You can use interval training to increase the number of calories burned and this means swimming flat out for a specified number of time and then to have short rests in between.
High cholesterol levels can be very dangerous and it’s a condition that is becoming ever more common but swimming can help to balance the levels of cholesterol and therefore limit the risk of more serious diseases. If you have health risks, then swimming can be a great stepping stone to improving your overall health. Asthma for example can be improved because it gives you the opportunity to exercise in a moist atmosphere. Swimming can improve the volume of your lungs and enable you to improve your breathing by learning proper techniques. Swimming can help to increase and promote the relaxation response and it is possible to use each stroke and the sound of your breathing in a meditative way.
If it sounds too good to be true, head off to the pool and try out all of those different strokes. It doesn’t matter whether you can swim well or not, the fact that you are in the water and just trying out all of the different techniques, your body will be benefiting.