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5 surprising reasons why swimming is good for you

Sportlicher Mann schwimmt
Content Editor & Certified Trainer
Lisa studied journalism and is a certified fitness and health trainer, as well as a meditation coach! She spent many years working for different lifestyle and fitness magazines, and she writes articles for us on the topics of working out, fitness, lifestyle and mind.

The open-air pools are about to open for the year, and lakes will soon be warm enough for swimming. In other words, now’s the time to dig out your bikini or swimming trunks! Swimming is one of the healthiest forms of exercise. Even if you’ve shied away from water in the past, you’ll be raring to jump in once you’ve read this article. We put the case for swimming, with 5 arguments that are bound to leave you convinced.

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#1 Swimming strengthens all the muscle groups

Most professional swimmers have one thing in common – serious muscles. With their broad shoulders, six packs and powerful thighs, they have an impressive physique. And that’s in spite of the fact you’re only moving your own body weight when you’re swimming – and water, of course!

The thing is, you have to overcome considerable resistance to move forward through the water. Your arms and legs are in constant motion, and the muscles in your core also have to keep active and work. In other words, swimming is the perfect sport for building your muscles, from head to toe.

The muscle groups that get mainly honed will depend on your swimming style. Breaststroke is good for your chest, shoulder, arm and thigh muscles. Front crawl strengthens your arms, shoulders and core in particular, while backstroke builds up your core and back muscles. It’s best to mix up strokes regularly to get the full effect.

#2 Swimming is easy on your joints

If you’re struggling with joint or back problems, then swimming is the best kind of exercise for you. In water, the strain on your body drops by as much as 90 per cent. Water’s natural buoyancy takes the load off your intervertebral discs, tendons and ligaments, so that you can exercise unimpeded, with less discomfort. Swimming strengthens your stabilizer muscles.

Do you often experience back pain? Then it’s worth making a regular effort to hone your back muscles. For more on this, check out exercises to strengthen your back

#3 Swimming is the ultimate calorie zapper

Swimming is one of the most effective kinds of exercise when it comes to losing weight. Why? Well, you burn a massive amount of calories when exercising in the water. This is partly due to the temperature difference, which your body tries to compensate for by using up energy. At the same time, you body is constantly pushing against water resistance – an exhausting and energy-consuming feat.

Depending on your swimming stroke, you burn between 200 and 500 kcal per hour, putting it on a par with high-intensity jogging – but far easier on your joints!

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#4 Swimming strengthens your cardiovascular system

Regular swimming sessions not only help to hone your glutes and biceps, but also your heart muscle, with the additional benefit of upping your performance.

There is higher pressure underwater, so your blood vessels contract. Your heart needs to pump harder to get enough blood through your body with every beat. Once you become a frequent swimmer, your heart volume will increase, while your heart rate will drop.

#5 Swimming teaches healthy breathing

Breathing is a somewhat underrated tool for reducing everyday stress, releasing tension and helping our bodies to recover. As a form of exercise, swimming is ideal for helping you improve your breathing technique. It forces you to practice a calm, even breathing rhythm. Doing this can have a lasting positive effect on your physical and mental health.

More things to know from foodspring:

*Losing weight with Shape Shake 2.0: Replacing two meals a day with one Shape Shake 2.0 each meal contributes to weight loss as part of a low-calorie diet. Replacing one meal will help you maintain your weight. The product fulfills its intended purpose only as part of a low-calorie diet. A low-calorie diet must also include other foods. Make sure you drink enough fluids every day. Maintain a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

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