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Hit the pool to enjoy these five major benefits of swimming
 Hit the pool to enjoy these five major benefits of swimming

By: Dr. Richard Hulsey

When the temperature flirt with triple digits and the humidity rises, the local pool is the obvious choice for summer fun. Take away the yelling kids and the splash-fests and you have a tremendous exercise opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or still a beginner, swimming can be a great addition to your exercise regimen.

Here are five major benefits of swimming that may be enough to get you in a lane this summer:

  • Cardio - Water is 800 times denser than air, which means that your body is under constant tension to move while swimming. Constant motion translates to an ongoing cardio workout. Regular cardio exercisers benefit from improved heart health, weight loss, and more restful sleep patterns.

  • Full-body exercise workout - Not only does swimming count as a cardio exercise, it’s also a strength exercise. Everything from your shoulders to your ankles is involved in swimming. Remember to stretch before beginning any exercise, including swimming. This allows your body to properly warm up and avoid cramps before hitting the pool.

  • Increases bone strength - Weight-bearing exercises are known to improve Bone Mineral Density (BMD), but swimming also carries the same benefit. The constant resistance of water on the entire skeletal system helps improve bone strength. (American Physiological Society)

  • Reduces stress and depression - Swimming helps reverse stress-induced brain damage through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. (Source) It can also release the same endorphins that create the ‘runner’s high’ of feel-goods to accompany the soothing sound of water rushing by and your rhythmic breathing. The experience of swimming is similar to yoga in the breathing requirements and running in its endorphin release.

  • Lower weight impact - If you recently suffered an orthopedic injury, your doctor may recommend water-based activities, such as swimming, to help revitalize your injured area. It also takes added pressure off your joints that running or cycling may not afford.

Starting a new exercise routine, like swimming, can be a great way to stay healthy and in shape this summer. Using swimming to rehab an old injury or new one should start with an in-person consultation with a board-certified orthopedic physician at Orthopedic Associates. You need to know whether your body is ready for the welcome exercise that comes from swimming. Click here to schedule your next appointment.





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