Health & Fitness

6 reasons why swimming is so good for us

1. Swimming strengthens the heart and the immune system

Swimming is a good endurance sport with lifeguard recertification near me.

  • the heart muscle
  • drives the cardiovascular system and
  • strengthens our immune system. Many metabolic processes are set in motion during sport.

“During swimming, the body receives stimuli to which it has to adapt.

A strong circulatory system is also good for our brain power and concentration. “Due to the high heart rate and the higher heart stroke volume, the blood circulates more strongly and supplies the body with a lot of oxygen,” says Kauschke.

2. Swimming promotes concentration

If you exercise regularly, you also learn to focus on one thing instead of a thousand things at the same time, explains Kauschke. This promotes the ability to concentrate.

Even if you repeatedly practice certain movement sequences for a sport with a lot of attention, this strengthens your concentration.

In addition, persistent sport ensures movement in the brain – this has a positive influence on neurotransmitter substances – i.e. the chemical messenger substances in the body.

Warning: Exercise and sports are good. But too much sport at too high an intensity can overwhelm the body and make it more vulnerable, says Kauschke. This also applies to swimming.

Recovery and breaks are therefore very important. As a rule of thumb, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends:

  • 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week for adults or
  • 60 minutes of higher-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • you should also do muscle-strengthening physical activity at least two days a week.

“Aerobic” means “with oxygen”, as opposed to “anaerobic” – without oxygen. You can do aerobic training with endurance sports such as jogging, cycling – swimming is also part of it.

3. Swimming trains the whole body

Swimming is effective: the movements are not limited to a specific muscle group, but involve almost all muscles. It doesn’t matter which of the four swimming styles you choose:

  • breaststroke,
  • crawl,
  • backstroke and
  • Butterfly.

“When we swim, we need our core muscles to be stable in the water. At the same time, we also need our arms and legs to move forward,” says Robert Collette, sports scientist from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.

Another advantage : the muscle loops in the body are tuned and coordinated when swimming. This means that muscle groups work together in the body so that certain movements can occur.

4. Swimming is the perfect beginner sport

If you haven’t done any sport before but want to start, swimming is perfect for you.

Because unlike other sports, the body does not reach its limits so quickly when swimming.

You can more easily control and customize the load. “It doesn’t overwhelm you directly. You’re tired and exhausted, but you don’t get sore muscles,” says Collette.

Tip for swimming beginners: First take a break after each lap so that you don’t use up all your energy right at the beginning, advises Andreas Bieder, sports scientist at the German Sport University in Cologne. When the effort subsides, you can shorten the breaks, swim more laps at a time, and improve your condition.

5. Swimming is easy on the joints

A strong argument for this sport: The risk of injury is very low, according to Collette. Provided you can swim and don’t overestimate yourself or the dangers of open water.

For whom swimming is particularly good:

Swimming is therefore particularly suitable for older people and people with physical disabilities or injuries.

In addition, people with physical limitations or a disability can benefit from the element of water. “There are people who are only able to move under their own power in water,” says Collette. In the water you can feel free on the one hand and strengthen your musculoskeletal system on the other. Because water gives the body buoyancy and counteracts the weight – for example, diving equipment that is very heavy on land feels very light underwater. This is due to Archimedes’ principle. Accordingly, a body displaces as much weight as the amount of water it displaces.

Swimming is also particularly suitable for people who are overweight or have osteoarthritis. The movement in the water also relieves the joints and spine, explains Bieder. Pregnant women, for example, also benefit from this – swimming is a good opportunity for them to relieve their stomach and joints.

If you suffer from back pain, you can relieve your body in the water. The movements relieve tension and strengthen the trunk muscles.

By the way: Swimming can be a good alternative in endurance training if athletes need to protect their joints. And it can help to regenerate the muscles after other sports.

“Easy swimming, for example after cycling, can reduce the basic tension in the muscles and stretch the body, which can be very pleasant,” says Bieder.

6. Which swimming styles are good for the back and neck

The different swimming styles have their merits, but they may not be suitable for someone with physical problems. Here is an overview of which style is particularly suitable for whom:

Breaststroke: If you do this swimming style incorrectly or if you already have physical problems, breaststroke can do more harm. Then you should probably not practice the style.

This applies, for example, to knee problems : When you swim breaststroke, you are “in a knock-knee position and that is not the best for your knees,” says Andreas Bieder. The constant turning of the knee can lead to pain. If you only swim once or twice a week, you shouldn’t have any knee problems.

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