Most of the popular sports, be it Football, Cricket, Hockey, Basketball or Tennis are essentially practiced within the confines of fields, pitches or courts. The scope of body movement is limited by the rigidity of surface and obvious gravitational forces. What if there was a sporting avenue wherein such earthly limitations could be surpassed? Say hello to the fluid world of swimming.
This water sport negates the force of gravity on your body allowing your muscles to be stretched and tested to the extreme. It requires a constant balance of technique, breathing control, patience and stamina. Here we highlight some of the largest fitness advantages of swimming.
5) Back straightening and strengthening
Swimming provides all the benefits of a traditional exercise with a unique add-on not be garnered anywhere else. It provides an environment wherein the back and core muscles of the body are not pressurized and can straighten and strengthen to their optimum form. Specifically for those who missed the growth-bug and are under the age of 21, swimming provides a platform where lengthening of the back is not impossible!
4) Muscle toning-gruelling strokes
Water is twelve times as dense as air, therefore swimming is a much more effective way of toning ones muscles than any other form of cardiovascular exercise that one can do elsewhere. Exercising in water provides a certain amount of quintessential resistance, which has an effect akin to using a light weight on a resistance machine at the gym. But, submersion in water creates a more contstant, controlled resistance on the body so there’s no concern about having to count repetitions when it’s time for lifting. Just by being in water, you’re already essentially “lifting”!
3) Cardio + Weights + Yoga?
Traditional muscle crunching or running can prove to be pretty stressful in a gym. Swimming interestingly enough enhances endorphins in the body that propels feelings of wellbeing. Studies have shown that swimming produces the same “relaxation” as yoga does, and the stretching and contracting of your muscles can heighten this experience. It may be a hefty pool membership, but you get 3 in 1 free! (Cardio, Weights and Yoga!)
2) Impact on breathing
Due to the liquid environment, the air above and surrounding a swimming pool has greater moisture in the atmosphere than elsewhere. Air moisture makes it easier to take a breath, ideal for those that suffer with asthma and find cardio outdoors a bit too hard on their lungs. Swimming is not only beneficial to asthma sufferers. It can also help to increase one’s lung volume and teach better breathing techniques that can aid one when lifting weights or running. It’s not competition to land exercise, it’s a complement!
1) Valuable life skill
As far as emergency utility goes, there is none superior to swimming. This skill not only makes you fit, but can save your life. Who knows what can go wrong during a casual dip in sea, scuba diving and multiple other scenarios? Equipment will not save you. Your wit will not save you. What will save you is a sense of coordination amid panic; the sense to align your hands, legs, lungs and mind in synchronization. Can you say that about Tennis? Can you say that about Basketball? Can you say that about Cricket? I rest my case.
The only downside-In this case, you can’t measure the effectiveness of your workout by the amount of sweat that you expel 🙂