The benefits of swimming are great—both physically and mentally—yet swimming is seen as the sport’s stepchild. That bobbing around is for old ladies and isn’t a real sport, is it? Nothing is less true! Fortunately, we have old Olympic swimming winner Johan Ken khuis who with Swim Gymputs swimming on the map. Swimming keeps both our body and mind healthy. Compared to other sports, such as running, it is much less harmful and you train all muscles.
And perhaps most importantly: the calorie consumption in swimming is high! Swimming for half an hour is equivalent to running 10 kilometers. I myself have been swimming 2 kilometers twice a week for 15 years and can only confirm the benefits of swimming with a lifeguard course. For me, the spiritual aspect is an important advantage. Two kilometers of front crawling is very good mindfulness. Just listening to my own breathing and looking at the pool tiles is very relaxing and helps to organize my thoughts.
Swimming gives both your body and your mind a positive boost
One of the greatest benefits of swimming is the positive boost that both your body and mind get from swimming laps regularly. Swimming is a cardiovascular activity. During such cardiovascular training, you produce the hormone serotonin. Serotype improves your mood and increases your self-confidence. Starting the day with an hour of swimming has a positive effect on your entire day. You have more energy and a good feeling about yourself.
Tip: The best way to make swimming a routine is to choose set days for it. This way you get to know the permanent core of swimmers and they will miss you if you don’t come. This is a nice stick behind the door.
When the alarm goes off, don’t lie down and think about it, because then you’ll make up 100 reasons not to go. Just put on that bathing suit and go, don’t think about it. Take your shampoo to the pool so that you have already washed your hair when you go home otherwise this swimming routine will take you a lot of time.
Advantage of swimming: it strengthens the muscles
You build muscle mass through the resistance of the water. Especially if you alternate different swimming strokes, you benefit a lot from this. Swimming is a full-body workout, which means that you train both your upper and lower body.
Your whole body benefits from swimming. If you have a muscle-related condition like me, swimming is highly recommended. Your muscles become stronger and in my case, I have less pain in daily life and function better. In addition to the mental aspect, this is one of the greatest benefits of swimming for me.
Tip: plan a sprint every so many laps in the front crawl and catch your breath with a lap of breaststroke. This way you work on your condition as well as on your various muscles. If you are not a front crawl swimmer, you can do a sprint breaststroke and then a lap backstroke.
Swimming increases lung capacity
Front crawling certainly requires a good breathing technique, otherwise, you will be out of breath within a job. Once you have mastered this technique, you will soon notice that your lung capacity increases. Instead of breathing every 2 beats, with good technique and good lung capacity you can breathe every 4 beats.
You also benefit greatly from a good lung capacity in everyday life. Climbing stairs, sprinting on the football field with your kids, or taking a quick bike ride to the supermarket all become easier. Which also benefits your mental health.
Tip: Breathing every 4 strokes works very well if you want to make your swimming workout mindfulness too. You lie with your head underwater almost non-stop and have no distractions from everything that happens in the pool. A great way to calm your mind and reduce stress.
Benefits of swimming: strengthens the bones
Although swimming is a low-impact sport, it still increases your bone density. Although swimmers have a lower bone density than, for example, runners, they do have a higher bone density than non-athletes.
Tip: combine your swimming workout with, for example, walking or running to maximize your bone density and reduce the chance of bone fractures.
Swimming reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Like all cardiovascular sports, swimming lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This reduces your chance of getting cardiovascular disease. You have to make sure that your heart rate goes up well during your training, a little bobbing around is not enough. Cardiovascular diseases are an important cause of death in the Netherlands, the fact that you can reduce the chance of such a condition seems to me to be a really great advantage of swimming and a reason to purchase a swimming pool subscription today!
Tip: to get your heart rate up properly, you can do a HIIT. This is recommended for advanced swimmers. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you, swimming makes you thirsty.
Swimming advantage: you sleep like a baby
During sports, especially swimming, hormones are released that you need to sleep better. Good sleep is a must for your health.
Tip: are you not a good sleeper? Do not go swimming in the evening, you will probably be so hyper afterward that you will not be able to fall asleep. Swimming in the morning is better for bad sleepers. Most pools are already open at 7 am, so you can enjoy the benefits of swimming before you get to work. You are full of energy all day and in the evening you fall asleep like a log.
The calorie consumption in swimming is high
With fanatical swimming, you burn a lot of calories, about 500 per hour. Compared to running, you burn 650 calories, but then the risk of injury is many times greater. Swimming is, therefore, a great sport to lose weight.
Tip: do you want to burn more calories? Do a HIIT or learn the butterfly stroke. With a good butterfly stroke, you burn up to 900! calories per hour.
Swimming has a positive effect on your blood pressure
The pressure of the water means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump your blood back to your heart. This difference can be as much as 10 to 15 percent. This is good for your blood pressure and is very relaxing.
Tip: after intensive laps, it is wonderful to chill out in a bubble bath if your swimming pool offers this luxury. This way you make maximum use of the benefit of swimming to lower your blood pressure. When you are resting, your heart rate drops, allowing you to end your workout in a relaxed manner.
Minimal impact on your joints
You weigh 90% less in the water! The impact of swimming on your joints is therefore much smaller than with sports ‘on land’. This is why many people with injuries are advised to go swimming and recover peacefully.
Tip: purchase a well-fitting bathing suit and buy good swimming goggles, good material is half the battle. You don’t want to spend all the time pulling your bikini into place or clearing the water from your goggles.
Does swimming also have disadvantages?
I have a lot of sinusitis and unfortunately, swimming is not really recommended because of the ‘dirty’ pool water. In the meantime, I have bought a nasal douche with medicinal salt to rinse everything clean after swimming and I have this problem under control. Another big problem: those wet hairs! But it is worth it! And if I can’t swim for a while, I like to exercise at home, not tied to the opening hours or class times of the gym.