It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity to maintain or reduce their weight, according to MayoClinic. Swimming is a great way to stay active and just 60 minutes of it a day is enough to burn the same calories as running without the impact it has on bones and joints.
Swimming is an activity that is for people of all ages and can be done inexpensively. It works on the entire body and strains the body a lot less. For those who have had a sedentary life, getting started with any physical activity can be difficult, which is why swimming is a good option. People can go at their own pace, which makes it a stress-free activity.
Here are six more benefits of swimming on the mind and body:
1. Improves sleep
Almost 50% of older adults have chronic insomnia and aerobic activities like swimming could be a solution. One study, Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia, showed that those above the age of 55 had improved quality of life and sleep after engaging in regular aerobic exercise. Swimming, unlike running, is a good option for older adults because those with physical ailments can do it too.
2. Burns calories
It’s a great way to burn more calories in the same time when compared to other physical activities. A 160-pound person is likely to burn almost 423 calories an hour while swimming at a low or moderate pace, while they would burn only 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for 60 minutes and 183 calories an hour doing yoga. Working out on the elliptical trainer would burn 365 calories for the same duration, according to Healthline.
3. Manages stress
Any physical activity for even 20 minutes a week can be good for relieving stress and anxiety, according to Medical News Today. However, swimming might have a more immediate effect on us. A survey, The effect of swimming exercise on life stress relief, in Taiwan at a YMCA found that swimmers felt more relieved from stress after swimming. Of the 101 people surveyed, before their session, 44 said they were mildly depressed and stressed because of their fast-paced life. The number dropped to eight after the session. However, more research is necessary to validate this.
4. Improves mood
When researchers studied the effect of swimming on people with moderate to severe dementia in Australia, they observed an improvement in their mood. The participants were part of a 12-week aquatic program and the study, published in the Australasian Journal of Ageing, concluded that aquatic exercise intervention reduces behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Apart from its psychological benefits, it also improves their physical health.
5. Strengthens the entire body
Swimming works on every major muscle group in the body since we require our arms, legs, torso, and abdomen to propel us forward. It improves our strength and tones our muscles. It has a positive effect on overall fitness and manages our weight. It also increases the heart rate without stressing the body. Not only is it good for the muscles but also for the heart and lungs, according to Medical News Today.
6. Good for people with injuries, arthritis, and more
This is a safe option for people with arthritis, injury, disability, asthma, pregnancy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult. It is also capable of having a healing effect by improving recovery from injury and reducing pain.