Benefits of Swimming

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By: Jill Tonne ACE-CPT, ACSM-CPT, ACE-CHC

Finding yourself completely fatigued after one short run in the summer heat? Swimming may be your new favorite workout! While running certainly has it’s place, swimming has a ton of positive benefits that could help impact your routine, and in fact, burns almost as many calories as running.

First, swimming is great for your joints and muscles. The water takes all kinds of pressure off your joints, making this a low impact cardiovascular exercise. If you have been limited with your workouts due to knee, ankle or hip pain, swimming may be your answer. It is also a full body workout, working nearly every major muscle group of the body at the same time.

Next, swimming is great for your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Not only does it increase your heart rate but it also acts as one long breathing exercise. For most, it can actually expand lung capacity and help the quality of your breathing. Especially seen in asthmatics, swimming is a controlled way to stay on top of breathing rhythm and can limit the side effects that come with asthma and exercise.

Finally, it helps you stay cool. In the warm weather, it is easy to overheat and put yourself at risk of heat stroke. While it is important to note the water temperature before you jump in, most pools and lap lanes are kept at a healthy 78-82 degrees. This temperature is specifically chosen to keep your core temperature warm and blood vessels open while also being able to keep you cool when you start working up a sweat. If you are considering an outdoor swim in a natural lake or ocean, make sure to note the temperature and dress accordingly!

Time to ditch the sneakers and grab your goggles to head to the nearest pool!